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Unformatted text preview: Automated Conversion from Requirements Documentation to an Object-Oriented Formal Specification Language " Beum-Seuk Lee Dept. Computer and Information Sciences The University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.A. 35294-1170 [email protected] Barrett R. Bryant Dept. Computer and Information Sciences The University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.A. 35294-1170 [email protected] ABSTRACT In software engineering there have been very few attempts to aut o- - r e the translation from a requirements document wTitten in a natural language (NL) to one of the formal spec- ification languages. One of the major reasons for this chal- lenge comes from the ambiguity of the NL requirements doc- umentation because NL depends heavily on context. We use Contextual Natural Language Processing (CNLP) to over- come the ambiguity in NL, and Two-Level Gr ammar (TLG) to construct a bridge between a NL requirements specifi- cation and a formed specification in VDM++, an object- oriented extension of the Vienna Development Method. The result is a system for mapping natural language require- merits documents into an object-oriented formal specifica- tiau language. Keywords Contextual Natural Language Processing, Object-Oriented Software Specification, Two-Level Gr ~r naz, Vienna Devel- opment Method, XML 1. INTRODUCTION Recently many formal specification languages have been developed to handle their complex systems with heavy in- teractions between its components by decomposition and abstraction of the requirements of the system . However still the natural language (NL) has remained as the practiced choice for the domain experts to specify the system because formal specification languages are not easy to master. Even though NL is inherently object-oriented and descriptive with representation power, its semantics and syntax axe not for- *This material is based upon work supported by, or in part by, the U. S. Army Kesearch Laboratory and the U. S. Army Research Office under contract/grant number DAADIg-00- 1-0350 and by the U. S. Office of Naval 11esearch under award number N00014-01-1-0746. Permission to make digital or hard copies of all or part of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial adwmmge, and that copies bear this notice and tbe full citation on the first page. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on serve~ or to redistribute to lists, z~-quires prior specific permission and/or a fee. SAC 2002, Madrid, Spain ~)2002 ACM 1-58113-445-2/02/03 ...$5.00. m~l enough to be used directly as a specification language. Therefore the requirements docttmentation usually written in NL has to be reinterpreted by seftwaxe engineers into a formal specification language. When the system is very complicated, which is mostly the case when one chooses to use formal specification, this conversion is both non-trivial and error-prone, if not implausible. This challenge comes and error-prone, if not implausible....
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