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International Journal of Telemedicine and Applications
Volume 2009 (2009), Article ID 917826, 14 pages
Research Article

Managing Requirement Volatility in an Ontology-Driven Clinical LIMS Using Category Theory

Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering, Concordia University, 1455 de Maisonneuve Boulevard West, Montreal, QC, Canada H3G 1M8

Received 17 June 2008; Revised 30 October 2008; Accepted 29 December 2008

Academic Editor: Hui Chen

Copyright © 2009 Arash Shaban-Nejad et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Requirement volatility is an issue in software engineering in general, and in Web-based clinical applications in particular, which often originates from an incomplete knowledge of the domain of interest. With advances in the health science, many features and functionalities need to be added to, or removed from, existing software applications in the biomedical domain. At the same time, the increasing complexity of biomedical systems makes them more difficult to understand, and consequently it is more difficult to define their requirements, which contributes considerably to their volatility. In this paper, we present a novel agent-based approach for analyzing and managing volatile and dynamic requirements in an ontology-driven laboratory information management system (LIMS) designed for Web-based case reporting in medical mycology. The proposed framework is empowered with ontologies and formalized using category theory to provide a deep and common understanding of the functional and nonfunctional requirement hierarchies and their interrelations, and to trace the effects of a change on the conceptual framework.