Creating a traceability is only half the story – making sense of it is another. A common tool for this purpose is a traceability matrix. Such a matrix visually shows the relationship between two sets of elements in a grid.

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Traceability Matrix

deduct-matrixThe Situation: Traces are important in development. They are realized in ReqIF with SpecRelations and can connect requirements to tests ("tests" relationship), stakeholder requirements to system requirements ("realizes" relationship). Creating the required traces is the first step towards better development.

The Challenge: Creating traces is not enough: The traceability must be analyzed as well. Analytical questions include: "Is every requirement tested?" or, "Is every stakeholder requirement realized?

Solution: By creating a grid with one set of elements on one axis and another set of elements on the other axis, an established traceability can be quickly grasped. For instance, the matrix to the right shows requirements on the vertical axis and tests on the horizontal axis. Three traces are shown, indicating that R-1 and R-5 are not yet covered by a test, and that T-1 and T-5 are not yet associated with a requirement.

Results: Deduct visualizes relationships as shown in the figure. It produces a nicely formatted HTML output that highlights missing relations, thereby making it easy to spot them. It also produces CSV, which can be read by Excel, for further processing.


  • Specifications define the axes of the matrix
  • Reduce the axes by applying filters
  • More than one SpecRelationType possible
  • Highlights incomplete traceability
  • Automatically adds SpecRelations that are not covered by the Specifications
  • HTML output (can be pasted into Word)
  • CSV export (can be opened with Excel)