Internal Project: Forments
Any form of system development begins with a requirements engineering phase that results in some requirements documents. Requirements documents are primarily written in natural language (up to 95%). The next step in a standard development process will be the derivation of a design of the system based on these requirements. This activity results in design documents, and these are more and more being realized in semi-formal or formal notations. In order for the vision of the OMG’s model driven architectures to become a reality and software or system development automation to become a success, it is essential, at least to constrict the huge semantic gap between non-formal requirements documents and semi-formal or formal design specification documents in subsequent development phases, and that goes down to the code level. This would enable engineers to employ tools to automatically map requirements into designs and eventually into code, and, at the same time, impose strict tracing mechanisms between artifacts associated with the same requirement within and across different notational and abstraction levels within one development project. This is particularly important for non-functional requirements which are often only carried forward implicitly in the development process. The Forments project aims to devise ways to make requirements that are initially written in natural language more structured and more formal, so that they can be processed more easily by software engineering tools in subsequent phases.
The Forments project is an ongoing research effort within the Software Engineering Research Group.