Using abduction and induction for operational requirements elaboration

Dalal Alrajeh, Oliver Ray, Alessandra Russo, Sebastian Uchitel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Translated title of the contributionUsing abduction and induction for operational requirements elaboration
Original languageEnglish
Article number275-288
JournalJournal of Applied Logic
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Bibliographical note

Other identifier: 2001070


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