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  1. Natural Language Analysis of Requirements Tool Study INCOSE Delaware Valley Chapter April 2007 CassBeth Inc.

  2. Content • Where did this come from and why do it • Natural Language Analysis (NLA) of specifications • NASA IVV Study • Natural language analysis introduction • Who are the vendors in the study • What are the initial findings • What is the technology spread • Final comments CassBeth Inc.

  3. Where did this come from? • Carnegie Mellon SEI Report September 2005 • QuARS: A Tool for Analyzing Requirements by Giuseppe Lami, Report CMU/SEI-2005-TR-014 • NASA Automated Quality Analysis Of Natural Language Requirement Specifications (ARM) • William M. Wilson Software Assurance Technology • Linda H. Rosenberg, Ph.D. Unisys / GSFC • Lawrence E. Hyatt NASA Goddard Space Flight Center • TIGER replaced FRED • Joseph Kasser, University Of South Australia • Requirements Assistant at Hughes circa 1980 • Dr. Herman Dreissen, Netherlands CassBeth Inc.

  4. The Idea - NLA of Reqs Prelim Spec Doc Spec Analysis Final Spec Authors Reports Updates Previously Manual Inspections • Let machines do what they do well • search, count, filter, categorize, profile, visualize • Let humans do what they do well • creativity, critical thinking, inspiration, intuition CassBeth Inc.

  5. CMU SEI Abstract • Numerous tools and techniques are available for managing requirements. • Many are designed to define requirements, provide configuration management, and control distribution. • However, there are few automatic tools to support the quality analysis of natural language (NL) requirements. CassBeth Inc.

  6. CMU SEI Abstract • Ambiguity analysis and consistency and completeness verification are usually carried out by human reviewers who read requirements documents and look for defects. • This clerical activity is boring, time consuming, and often ineffective. • This report describes a disciplined method and a related automated tool that can be used for the analysis of NL requirements documents. CassBeth Inc.

  7. NASA ARM Abstract • An early life cycle tool for assessing requirements that are specified in natural language. • The ARM tool searches the requirements document for terms the SATC has identified as quality indicators. • Reports produced by the tool are used to identify specification statements and structural areas of the requirements document that need to be improved. CassBeth Inc.

  8. Why Do It • Requirement Management • Automated database oriented tools • Modeling and Simulation • Automated visualization and calculation tools • Requirement Text Authoring • Manual mentors and check lists CassBeth Inc.

  9. Why Do It • Over 50% software defects are reqs problems • Source: CMU SEI QuARS Presentation and James Martin, INCOSE 21 June 05 • Over 80% rework spent on reqs related defects • Source: CMU SEI QuARS Presentation and Dean Leffingwell, INCOSE 21 June 05 CassBeth Inc.

  10. Why Do It • Specifications written in natural language • Initial text is rarely perfect • Everyone relies on specification text • Users, designers, testers, vendors, policy makers • Inspections used for surfacing defects, but • Time consuming, costly, only some defects found • Inspections may not even be performed • Fear of findings, not sure how to proceed once surfaced CassBeth Inc.

  11. NASA IVV Entry • 2006 May 24 • Working Group meeting • IV&V analysts identify capabilities they believe are beneficial in an automated tool • 2006 June 8 • Tool demo day, 5 of 6 identified tools presented • 2006 June - December • Studied tools • 2007 January - April • Selected 2 tools for pilot project CassBeth Inc.

  12. Introduction toNatural Language Analysis • Lexical Analysis • Uses dictionary words and phrases • Vague, subjective, imply choice or option • Syntactical Analysis • Relates to the syntax or grammar of the language • Weak phrases, multiplicity, implicit, under-spec • Statistical Analysis • Statistical properties of language structure and usage • Consistency check • Areas such as units of measure CassBeth Inc.

  13. Examples • Lexical examples • Ambiguous words: low, bad, clear, easy, efficient, etc. • Syntactical examples • Multiple requirements: use of and / or • Under-specification: e.g. ‘report’, what kind of report • Statistical Analysis • Count frequency of words , such as ‘strip’ • If it occurs 50 times in one document, this would indicate that this is an important concept (domain term) • Consistency Check • check units e.g. 5 Hz and 5kHz, 10 ft and 10 meters CassBeth Inc.

  14. Tools Considered • TEKchecker USA • Requirements Assistant (RA) Netherlands • Specification Analysis Tool (SAT) USA • Lexior France • E-Smart/ARM USA NASA • QuARS Italy • TIGER (not in study) Australia => International Effort <= CassBeth Inc.

  15. Criteria • Technical Requirements • Analyst Support Capabilities • Accuracy • Interoperability • Security • Quality Attributes • Reliability • Usability • Efficiency • Maintainability • Portability • General Vendor Information • Licensing • Tool Installation • Analysis Preparation • Upload documents into tool • Execution of tool • Capture analysis results • Analyze defects identified • Generation of reports CassBeth Inc.

  16. Initial Findings • NASA IVV Selects SAT & RA for pilot program • Because of their percentage rates in identifying issues • NASA IVV Objectives moving forward • Identify issues with implementing an automated tool into the process • Identify changes or updates needed to best meet the needs of analysts • Capture and measure effectiveness of tool to assist analysts in identifying issues • Measure improvement to process (time to analyze with assistance) CassBeth Inc.

  17. SAT and RA • SAT • Real time on the fly analysis • Based on search engine concept • User defined rules via templates • RA • Batch type / over night processing • PROLOG expert engine • Proprietary rules growing since early 80’s CassBeth Inc.

  18. User Documents SAT Engine SAT Exports - Metrics & Results - Excel & HTML Templates Previous Analysis Web Browser Help Services & Rules Apache Server Architecture Works Like Internet Search Engine But Runs on your computer Returns document text blocks Search criteria many attributes Search saved as templates Grouped by rules & services Fast 150 pages in 60 seconds CassBeth Inc.

  19. Settings Reports Text Blocks Shape Search Counts Reading Levels All Words Counts Metrics CassBeth Inc.

  20. Evolution Non Engineering Domains Related Documents Started Here Evaluate docs, outline compliance, quality reqs Surface key Reqs spec writers Designers IV&V Architects QA Test SAT SAT SAT SAT SAT Uncommitted unclear position, do not begin modeling decomposing, designing, implementing until you understand & commit your stakeholders Consistency, completeness, testability, metrics NASA Study Small 1-10 page Problem Statements Project Summaries Specifications CassBeth Inc.

  21. IV&V Challenge • They are catching problems after the fact • It is all done unless they arrive day one • They can use requirement findings to look for potential problems in design and implementation • If design, implementation, and test team was really good then all problems were wrung out of system • Costs still sunk unless team had excellent reqs • Industry needs to bring these tools into process • Reduce risk and friction with evaluators • Put money and schedule where needed CassBeth Inc.

  22. Others Challenges • Architects / front end staff forced to accept poor project statements & summaries • As system engineers rail against management in non system engineering driven organizations • Designers / Spec writers try to establish baselines • As politics whittles away at reason & logic • QA asked to review requirement documents • Can be impartial watchdog against poor req baseline • Test asked to create effective test programs • Like IV&V they can focus attention in poor req areas CassBeth Inc.

  23. NASA Tool Demo Day • Review time not shortened • Time usually arbitrarily set • People hunt & peck until bored or exhausted • Tool findings more consistent • Humans tend to miss categories • Tool finds all problems of certain type • Humans tend to miss full sets • Humans better finding domain specific problems • So give them time to do so and let tool excel in its area • There are more findings when tool is used • Humans and machines complement each other As interpreted by SAT staff CassBeth Inc.

  24. Technology Spread Evolution Plain Language Analysis tech writing EU Green Paper 30 pgs For Policy Makers Stern Review 700 pgs Legislative Analysis education Constitutional Analysis education US Climate Change Strategic Plan 400 pgs How do individuals, organizations, countries, international bodies solve problems, what are the tools and techniques Med Transcript Analysis professional General Document Analysis (GDA) From Engineering Domain CassBeth Inc.

  25. Technology Spread Broad Approaches Service If objects examined, counts are zero Primary themes 95 Rules grouped into 12 Services CassBeth Inc.

  26. Technology Spread Broad Approaches Service Again, basically zero This is misleading because the count is low CassBeth Inc.

  27. Technology Spread Policy Services & Rules • Broad Approaches • Markets Technology Education Science Government People International Engineering Systems Alternatives • Institutions • Academia Government Industry Labs Think Tanks NGO Non Profits Popular Media Technical Media Associations • Societal Approaches • Peaceful Sacrifice Stressed Violent • Organizational Tools • Technical Process Management Gestalts Implementation • Nation State Tools • Policy Legislation Regulation Deregulate Tax Military Departments Resources Proactive Transparency CassBeth Inc.

  28. Technology Spread Policy Services & Rules • International Tools • Policy Resources Proactive • Social Warnings • General Human Anger Environment Health Economic Earth • National Roles • Religion Defense Money Wealth Education Agriculture Health State People Labor • International Roles • People Government Industry International Academia Community Money Time • Special Interests • Defense Intelligence Food Health Pharmaceuticals Chemicals Mining Energy CassBeth Inc.

  29. Technology Spread Other Services CassBeth Inc.

  30. Other Services Technology Spread Click around, look at text blocks, refine searches, gain other insights There are Hits here, you just can’t see them CassBeth Inc.

  31. Technology Spread Evolution • Next time you hear a politician speak listen for tools and techniques used to solve problems • There is difference & after using GDA on a major policy document you will never view a policy speech the same way again • How did we get from NASA IV&V Natural Language Analysis of Requirements to policy document analysis? • Something about technology spread CassBeth Inc.

  32. Where Do These Tools Fit Original view of supporting development was significantly expanded • Concept time • Mine related documents prior to writing req’s • Development Time • Help write clean req’s • Verification and Validation • Assess req’s Engineering Domain CassBeth Inc.

  33. Why Do It • Building helicopters & ATC systems was hard for our parents but should be easy for us • Everyone takes for granted, ripe with politics & agendas • Expectations high so projects overloaded with features • Global warming & sustainable development are new challenges in this century for us • Ripe with politics & external agendas • Civilization has techniques individuals, organizations, countries, international bodies use to solve problems • This is hard - doing things CassBeth Inc.

  34. Final Comments • Something like impartial document analysis can stop the politics and external agendas • Professor Harry G. Frankfurt, On Bullshit, Princeton University, ISBN: 0-691-12294-6 • This is very important technology • Creating rules & analyzing 700+ page documents in 3 days in areas you have no expertise is an eye opener • It is an international effort, it will not go away • In 10 years NLA of documents may be as common as word processing, email, & the Internet CassBeth Inc.

  35. Challenge Can these tools be used for architecture validation? • Pull a view of the architecture - picture • Using the picture create services in SAT • Interfaces, Subsystems, Capabilities • Drop the specifications into SAT • Review the mined results CassBeth Inc.

  36. Links • Evaluation of Current Requirements Analysis (RA) Tools Capabilities for IVV in the RA Phase • • Specification Analysis Tool (SAT) • • Requirements Assistant (RA) • CassBeth Inc.