Rationale is the justification behind decisions taken during the software development process. The usefulness of rationale pervades the entire software lifecycle. However, it is during maintenance that the benefits of rationale management are most evident, as it provides an insight into the motivations and the reasoning behind decisions taken during the original design and implementation. One of the strongest limitation to the capturing of rationale information during development concerns its time-consuming and disruptive nature that cause many organizations to consider rationale management costs excessive. A possible solution is to extract and capture rationale information when it is needed. This can be done by analyzing documents shared or exchanged among software engineers during the development process. In this paper, we propose to supports the software engineer during the rationale capturing by automatically identifying candidate rationale information extracted from email repositories. Besides this, we also support the designer during the rationale retrieval by identifying possible rational information within a document repository starting from a query represented by a source document.
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