Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell'Informazione     
Ferrari A., Gnesi S., Tolomei G. Using clustering to improve the structure of natural language requirements documents. In: REFSQ 2013 - Requirements Engineering: Foundation for Software Quality. 19th International Working Conference (Essen, Germany, 08-11 Aprile 2013). Proceedings, vol. 7830 pp. 34 - 49. Joerg Doerr, Andreas L. Opdahl (eds.). (Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 7830). Springer, 2013.
[Context and motivation] System requirements are nor- mally provided in the form of natural language documents. Such documents need to be properly structured, in order to ease the overall uptake of the requirements by the readers of the document. A structure that allows a proper understanding of a requirements document shall satisfy two main quality attributes: (i) requirements relatedness: each requirement is conceptually connected with the requirements in the same section; (ii) sections independence: each section is conceptually separated from the others. [Question/Problem] Automatically identifying the parts of the document that lack requirements relatedness and sections independence may help improve the document structure. [Principal idea/results] To this end, we define a novel clustering algorithm named Sliding Head-Tail Component (S-HTC). The algorithm groups together similar require- ments that are contiguous in the requirements document. We claim that such algorithm allows discovering the structure of the document in the way it is perceived by the reader. If the structure originally provided by the document does not match the structure discovered by the algorithm, hints are given to identify the parts of the document that lack requirements relatedness and sections independence. [Contribution] We evaluate the effectiveness of the algorithm with a pilot test on a requirements standard of the railway domain (583 requirements).
URL: http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-642-37422-7_3
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-37422-7_3
Subject Requirements engineering
Requirements clustering
Natural language requirements
Requirements structure
Requirements quality
D.2.1 Requirements/Specifications

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