Agon: a Gamification-Based Framework for Acceptance Requirements

Piras, Luca (2018) Agon: a Gamification-Based Framework for Acceptance Requirements. PhD thesis, University of Trento.

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We live in the days of social software where social interactions, from simple notifications to complex business processes, are supported by software platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. But for any social software to be successful, it must be used by a sizeable portion of its intended user community. This is fundamental for social software, but also a crucial point for most of the software systems in general, and the fulfillment of such (Usage) Acceptance Requirements critically depends on psychological, behavioral and social factors which may influence intrinsic and extrinsic motivations of the user. Operationalization techniques for Acceptance Requirements largely consist of making a game out of software usage where users are rewarded depending on the degree of their participation. The game, for instance, may be competitive or non-competitive, depending on the anticipated personality traits of intended users. Making a game out of usage is often referred to Gamification. It has attracted significant attention in the literature for the past few years because it offers a novel approach to software usage. Gamification is a powerful paradigm and a set of best practices used to motivate people carrying out a variety of ICT-mediated tasks. Designing gamification solutions and applying them to a ICT system is a complex and expensive process (in time, competences and money) as software engineers have to cope with heterogeneous stakeholder requirements on one hand, and Acceptance Requirements on the other, that together ensure effective user participation and a high level of system utilization. As such, gamification solutions require significant analysis and design as well as suitable supporting tools and techniques. In this thesis, we describe Agon, an Acceptance Requirements Framework based on Gamification, for supporting the requirements engineer in the analysis and design of engaging software systems. The framework adopts concepts and design techniques from Requirements Engineering, Human Behavior and Gamification. Agon encompasses both a method and a meta-model capturing acceptance and gamification knowledge. In particular, the framework consists of a generic acceptance goal meta-model that characterizes the problem space by capturing possible refinements for acceptance requirements, and a generic gamification meta-model that captures possible gamified operationalizations for acceptance requirements. The framework is illustrated with the Meeting Scheduler Exemplar and different heterogeneous case studies. In particular, we describe Agon through a real case study concerning the gamification of a system for collaborative decision-making, within the Participatory Architectural Change MAnagement in ATM Systems (PACAS) European Project. We describe also the Agon-Tool, a tool for enabling the requirements engineer in carrying out the systematic acceptance requirements analysis of the Agon framework in a semi-automatic supported way.

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis (PhD)
Doctoral School:Information and Communication Technology
PhD Cycle:29
Subjects:Area 01 - Scienze matematiche e informatiche > INF/01 INFORMATICA
Area 09 - Ingegneria industriale e dell'informazione > ING-INF/05 SISTEMI DI ELABORAZIONE DELLE INFORMAZIONI
Uncontrolled Keywords:Acceptance Requirements Gamification Software Engineering Requirements Engineering Human Behavior
Additional Information:Models, dataset, case studies, the prototype and the glossary of Agon (the Acceptance Requirements Framework Based on Gamification proposed in this PhD Thesis) are available at and at
Funders:PACAS European Project, ERC Lucretius Project, VisiOn European Project, SUPERSEDE European Project, STREETLIFE European Project, Smart Campus project (TrentoRISE)
Repository Staff approval on:24 Oct 2018 09:30

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