What is Traceability?
There are many definitions of software traceability; however we define it as "the ability to interrelate any uniquely identifiable software engineering artifact to any other, maintain required links over time, and use the resulting network to answer questions of both the software product and its development process."
To make a system traceable, navigable links must be created between artifacts that are otherwise disconnected.
Components of Traceability
Trace Artifact: units of data that are amenable to being traced. Often, what constitutes an artifact (the project as a whole? Some element of the project?) is not predetermined, which makes traceability within the project more challenging.
Source Artifact: Where the trace starts.
Trace: The data in question.
Target Artifact: Where the data ends up.
Tracing is often done ad-hoc, after the fact. Since it can be costly to make a system exhaustively traceable, it must be determined what the needs are of the system or stakeholder: what information needs to be tracked?
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