2015 IEEE 23rd International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE), August 24-28, 2015, Ottawa, ON, Canada

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NL in RE
Research/Industry
FSS 2005, Chair: Peter Sawyer
Goal and Preference Identification through Natural Language
Fatima Alabdulkareem, Nick Cercone, and Sotirios Liaskos
(York University, Canada)
Abstract: Goal models allow efficient representation of stakeholder goals and alternative ways by which these can be satisfied. Preferences over goals in the goal model are then used to specify criteria for selecting alternatives that fit specific contexts, situations and strategies. Given such preferences, automated reasoning tools allow for efficient exploration of such alternatives. Nevertheless, to be amenable to such automated processing, goals and preferences need to be specified in a formal language, making automated processing inaccessible to the very bearers of goals and preferences, i.e., the stakeholders. We combine natural language processing techniques to allow specification of preferences through natural language statements. The natural language statement is first matched through regular expressions to distinguish between the preference component and the goal component. The former is then mapped to a preferential strength measure, while the latter is used to identify the relevant goal in the goal model through statistical semantic similarity techniques. The result constitutes a formal representation that can be used for alternatives analysis. In this way, stakeholders can access advanced goal reasoning techniques through simple natural language preference expressions, facilitating their decision making in various requirements analysis contexts. An experimental evaluation with human participants shows that the proposed system is of substantial precision and that a mapping from natural preferential verbalizations to predefined preferential strength labels is possible through sampling from crowds.

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Time stamp: 2019-04-19T12:24:20+02:00