doi: 10.7873/DATE.2015.0452

Formal Consistency Checking over Specifications in Natural Languages

Rongjie Yan1, Chih-Hong Cheng2 and Yesheng Chai3

1State Key Laboratory of Computer Science, Institute of Software, Beijing, China.

2Industrial Software Technologies, ABB Corporate Research, Ladenburg, Germany.

3School of Computer Science & Technology, Soochow University, Suzhou, China.


Early stages of system development involve outlining desired features such as functionality, availability, or usability. Specifications are derived from these features that concretize vague ideas presented in natural languages. The challenge for the verification and validation of specifications arises from the syntax and semantic gap between different representations and the need of automatic tools. In this paper, we present a requirementconsistency maintenance framework to produce consistent representations. The first part is the automatic translation from natural languages describing functionalities to formal logic with an abstraction of time. It extends pure syntactic parsing by adding semantic reasoning and the support of partitioning input and output variables. The second part is the use of synthesis techniques to examine if the requirements are consistent in terms of realizability. When the process fails, the formulas that cause the inconsistency are reported to locate the problem.

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