Known and unknown requirements in healthcare

Alistair Sutcliffe*, Peter Sawyer, Gemma Stringer, Samuel Couth, Laura J.E. Brown, Ann Gledson, Christopher Bull, Paul Rayson, John Keane, Xiao jun Zeng, Iracema Leroi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report experience in requirements elicitation of domain knowledge from experts in clinical and cognitive neurosciences. The elicitation target was a causal model for early signs of dementia indicated by changes in user behaviour and errors apparent in logs of computer activity. A Delphi-style process consisting of workshops with experts followed by a questionnaire was adopted. The paper describes how the elicitation process had to be adapted to deal with problems encountered in terminology and limited consensus among the experts. In spite of the difficulties encountered, a partial causal model of user behavioural pathologies and errors was elicited. This informed requirements for configuring data- and text-mining tools to search for the specific data patterns. Lessons learned for elicitation from experts are presented, and the implications for requirements are discussed as “unknown unknowns”, as well as configuration requirements for directing data-/text-mining tools towards refining awareness requirements in healthcare applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalRequirements engineering
Early online date30 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

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  • Causal models
  • Data mining
  • Domain knowledge
  • Experts
  • Medical informatics
  • Requirements elicitation


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