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Using abduction and induction for operational requirements elaboration

Authors
Journal
Journal of Applied Logic
1570-8683
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
7
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jal.2008.10.002
Keywords
  • Inductive Logic Programming
  • Abductive Reasoning
  • Goal-Oriented Requirements Engineering
  • Scenario-Based Specification
  • Linear Temporal Logic
  • Event Calculus
Disciplines
  • Computer Science
  • Engineering

Abstract

Abstract Requirements Engineering involves the elicitation of high-level stakeholder goals and their refinement into operational system requirements. A key difficulty is that stakeholders typically convey their goals indirectly through intuitive narrative-style scenarios of desirable and undesirable system behaviour, whereas goal refinement methods usually require goals to be expressed declaratively using, for instance, a temporal logic. In actual software engineering practice, the extraction of formal requirements from scenario-based descriptions is a tedious and error-prone process that would benefit from automated tool support. This paper presents an Inductive Logic Programming method for inferring operational requirements from a set of example scenarios and an initial but incomplete requirements specification. The approach is based on translating the specification and the scenarios into an event-based logic programming formalism and using a non-monotonic reasoning system, called eXtended Hybrid Abductive Inductive Learning, to automatically infer a set of event pre-conditions and trigger-conditions that cover all desirable scenarios and reject all undesirable ones. This learning task is a novel application of logic programming to requirements engineering that also demonstrates the utility of non-monotonic learning capturing pre-conditions and trigger-conditions.

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