A Requirement Description Approach in Natural Language Based on Communication Service Knowledge

Yoshizumi KOBAYASHI  Tadashi OHTA  Nobuyoshi TERASHIMA  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E78-D   No.9   pp.1156-1163
Publication Date: 1995/09/25
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Issue on Knowledge Based Software Engineering)
Category: Applications
requirement description,  requirement elicitation,  communication service,  natural language,  knowledge base,  

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This paper proposes a requirement description and elicitation approach for communication services. Requirements are described in natural language, refined with a knowledge base, and converted to a formal language for program generation. A model for communication services is made as a set of three items: terminal state, terminal action and the response of the communication system to the action. This set, in turn, corresponds to natural language syntax that expresses two conditions (terminal state and action) and their result. These conditions and result are expressed as a sequence of simple sentences that describe the relationship between a terminal and a communication system. Thus, by defining such a description style to reflect the features of communication services, it should be possible to achieve both a high level of description and mechanical processing capabilities at the same time. However, requirement descriptions usually include omission and inconsistency. This problem cannot be solved by merely introducing natural language for the descriptions. Knowledge about the target domain of requirements is needed to resolve it. This paper reports on a knowledge base that stores constraints existing between conditions and results in communication services. This knowledge base is shown to be effective in supplementing omissions and resolving inconsistency. This paper also presents a technique for converting the elicited requirements in natural language to descriptions in a formal language that can be used to generate a program.