Smita Ghaisas (Tata Consultancy Services):
Traceability for a Knowledge-driven Software Engineering

How does the Software Engineering (SE) industry really view traceability? Even as one hears claims of “going Agile” (and thereby not needing traceability at all!) at one end of the spectrum, individual experiences and interactions with seasoned professionals lead us to believe that industry practitioners look at traceability as a means to enhance the comprehensiveness of knowledge. Achieving customer satisfaction with certainty requires going beyond the core of software development process and artefacts to integrate several additional aspects seamlessly into SE. Practitioners’ reflections on traceability bring out that they look for linking the SE artefacts mainly to domain knowledge, project management, and compliance so that relevant knowledge elements considered peripheral to SE are available to them on-demand, just-in-time. Needless to add, this cannot be achieved without automating various aspects of traceability- creation, maintenance, reuse, learning, and refinement.


Smita Ghaisas is a Principal Scientist at TCS Research and leads the Data Driven Requirements Engineering group in the  Tata Research Development and Design Center (TRDDC), India. Her research in Requirements Engineering has been employed in several large business-critical systems within and outside of TCS over the last 15 years. Her current work is focused on automating the disambiguation of complex and critical texts such as regulations. Smita has supervised researchers, designers, and architects who have gone on to lead small teams within the company or have been inspired towards an academic pursuit in universities in USA and Europe. Her productive academic collaborations at TRDDC with accomplished academicians are anchored in her goal to bridge the ever-widening gap between research and practice. . She has served on program committees of flagship conferences such as ICSE, FSE, and RE and was the co-chair of the Industry Innovation track of RE 18. For her achievements, she has been designated as a Distinguished Engineer, an award conferred in recognition of her contribution to enhanced research and IP footprint and value creation for her company.