Software requirements for embedded computers : a preliminary report

by S. Glaseman, Malcolm Davis

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Results of a study of Air Force procedures for formulating and communicating software requirements and their effects on software acquisition for embedded computers. Conceptual models are used to describe software acquisition management activities of the Air Force and software development activities of prime contractors. Compared to contractors, the Air Force gives relatively little attention to software during preprogram decisionmaking. Moreover, the nature of software acquisition management problems is changing, and management techniques are applied to embedded software with little regard for comparative maturity of different application areas. At a more detailed level, the type of software expertise required has become at least as important as the numbers of specialists; documentation produced in response to current military standards is of questionable utility to any audience; the review structure is becoming increasingly inadequate; and separate system definition contracts appear desirable whatever the type of system being considered. Promising areas for further research are identified.

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