Keynote Speakers

Ruben Alexandersson
Volvo Car Group, Sweden

Wednesday, 25th of March 2020

Requirements, history or future of the Car industry?

Volvo Cars is traditionally a company based on writing up front requirements, and detecting and tracking deviations from them in our products. Currently, a number of game changing trends is disrupting our company, and our complete industry: Electrification, Connectivity, Digitalization, Autonomous driving, new mobility, agile transformation, and access to data. This shakes our foundation and forces us to rethink what we think we know about understanding our customer needs and defining our product.


Dr. Ruben Alexandersson has a Ph.D. in development of fault tolerant software from Chalmers University of Technology, and a background as teacher in Software Engineering. He is currently a Technical Specialist at Volvo Cars and has been with the company for ten years. Over the years he has worked with different perspectives on how to develop software and cross disciplinary systems in the automotive context. Current activities focus on the undergoing agile- and modular architecture transformations at Volvo Cars.

Alistair Mavin
Independent Requirements Specialist

Thursday, 26th of March 2020 (Industry Day Keynote)

S is for System

I have always been slightly concerned by the name of this conference series: “Requirements Engineering: Foundation for Software Quality”. Most attendees would probably agree that requirements engineering is indeed a foundation of software quality. However, I am uncomfortable that the S in REFSQ stands for software. I would argue that requirements engineering is a foundation of system quality. In my view, requirements are always for a system. Of course, that system will often include software. However, even the most software-intensive system is still a system and includes some non-software elements. So-called “software systems” must have some affect in the real physical world. Since they must impact non-software elements in some way, they are part of a wider system. It follows that these non-software system requirements must also be considered as part of a requirements engineering effort.

I have heard members of the requirements community suggest that requirements are for software because software is inherently more complex than non-software system elements. I can only assume that these individuals have not worked on safety-critical systems. Next time you are on an aeroplane, look out of the window at the engines. How would you feel if you were told that the engine control software had been developed against a set of requirements, whilst the physical components had not? Personally, I would prefer to know that the whole engine control system had been developed against a robust set of requirements.

This talk will expand on this viewpoint and discuss the issue of requirements engineering for systems.


Alistair Mavin (Mav) is an independent requirements specialist based in the UK. Mav worked as a requirements specialist at Rolls-Royce PLC for 14 years. He has carried out requirements engineering projects in a range of industries including defence, aerospace, rail, automotive, industrial plant design and software systems. He is the lead author of EARS and EARS+ and has experience in the development and delivery of requirements engineering training and in innovation and creativity support. Mav has published many papers on requirements and systems engineering. He was Industry Chair for RE13 and Industry Laboratory Chair for RE14 and is a member of the IEEE “RE” conference series Industry Committee. Mav is a member of IEEE, INCOSE, the British Computer Society (BSC) and the BCS Requirements Engineering Specialist Group committee and is a chartered engineer.

Carlo Ghezzi
Politecnico di Milano, Italy

Friday, 27th of March 2020

Cyber-physical spaces: challenges for requirements engineering

Computing and communication capabilities are increasingly embedded into physical spaces, blurring the boundary between computational and physical worlds. Typically, this is the case of modern cyber-physical, or internet-of-things (IoT) systems implementing smart spaces, ranging from smart homes and offices to smart cities. Collectively, these systems may be called cyber-physical spaces (CPSp's). Like most modern software-intensive system, CPSp's are highly dynamic and typically undergo continuous change –- they are evolving. The design and implementation of CSPp's offers new challenges to software engineers, who need to interact with domain experts, like architects and civil engineers, and also urban planners, traffic engineers, energy engineers, etc. in defining requirements and designing spatial systems that satisfy them.

The talk focuses on the challenges arising in specifying requirements, where the notion of space plays a primary role. It also focuses on how requirements can be validated against high-level system models in the initial design phases. Understanding and modeling space and its dynamics, as well as supporting formal reasoning about various properties of an evolving space, are crucial prerequisites for engineering dependable space-intensive systems. Domain experts normally use specific high-level domain models to describe their designs. These models, however, must be transformed into well-funded semantic models upon which different kinds of analyses can be performed. to support early requirements validation. The talk discusses more broadly how software engineering concepts -- abstraction, modeling, and verification -- can contribute to the design and operation of CPSp's and suggests exciting open areas for future research.


Carlo Ghezzi is an Emeritus Professor at Politecnico di Milano, Italy. He is ACM Fellow, IEEE Fellow, Member of Academia Europaea, Member of the Italian Academy of Sciences (Istituto Lombardo). He has been awarded the ACM SIGSOFT Outstanding Research Award (2015) and the Distinguished Service Award (2006). He has been on the evaluation board of several international research projects and institutions in Europe, Japan, and the USA.

He has been a Program Chair and General Chair of several conferences, including ICSE and ESEC/FSE. He gave keynotes at many conferences, including ESEC/FSE and ICSE. He has been the Editor in Chief of the ACM Trans. on Software Engineering and Methodology, Associate Editor of Communications of the ACM, IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, Science of Computer Programming.

His research has been focusing on software engineering and programming languages. He has been especially interested in methods and tools to improve dependability of adaptable and evolvable distributed applications, such as service-oriented architectures and ubiquitous/pervasive computer applications. He co-authored over 200 papers and 8 books. He coordinated several national and international (EU funded) research projects and has been awarded an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council.