Title: Formalisation of product requirements: from natural language descriptions to formal specifications

Authors: Zhen Yu Chen, Shengji Yao, Jian Qiang Lin, Yong Zeng, Armin Eberlein

Addresses: Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering, Concordia University, 1455 de Maisonneuve West, EVO07.640, Montreal, QC, H3G 1M8, Canada. ' Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering, Concordia University, 1455 de Maisonneuve West, EVO07.640, Montreal, QC, H3G 1M8, Canada. ' Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering, Concordia University, 1455 de Maisonneuve West, EVO07.640, Montreal, QC, H3G 1M8, Canada. ' Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering, Concordia University, 1455 de Maisonneuve West, EVO07.633, Montreal, QC, H3G 1M8, Canada. ' School of Engineering, American University of Sharjah, P.O. Box 26666, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Abstract: In engineering design, customers usually provide product requirements in the form of a natural language while computer-aided design systems may prefer more formal and structured specifications. In this paper, a formalisation process is proposed to transform product requirements from its natural language descriptions to a formal specification. The formal specification is based on the product environment and the formulation of design problem, which identifies the components included in a design problem in terms of the product environment. Through the lexical, syntactic, and structure analysis of natural language descriptions of a design problem, the formalisation process identifies the product to be designed, its environment components, and their relations. A software prototype is developed to validate the formalisation process. An example of rivet setting tool design shows that both the formalisation process and software prototype are feasible.

Keywords: product requirements; formalisation; formulation; natural language; axiomatic theory; design modelling; formal specifications; engineering design; rivet setting; tool design.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMR.2007.014730

International Journal of Manufacturing Research, 2007 Vol.2 No.3, pp.362 - 387

Available online: 02 Aug 2007 *

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