Towards the creation of a CNL adapted to requirements writing by combining writing recommendations and spontaneous regularities : example in a Space Project

Abstract : The Quality Department of the French National Space Agency (CNES, Centre National d’Études Spatiales) wishes to design a writing guide based on the real and regular writing of requirements. As a first step in this project, the present article proposes a linguistic analysis of requirements written in French by CNES engineers. One of our goals is to determine to what extent they conform to several rules laid down in two existing Controlled Natural Languages (CNLs), namely the Simplified Technical English developed by the AeroSpace and Defense Industries Association of Europe and the Guide for Writing Requirements proposed by the International Council on Systems Engineering. Indeed, although CNES engineers are not obliged to follow any controlled language in their writing of requirements, we believe that language regularities are likely to emerge from this task, mainly due to the writers’ experience. We are seeking to identify these regularities in order to use them as a basis for a new CNL for the writing of requirements. The issue is approached using natural language processing tools to identify sentences that do not comply with the rules or contain specific linguistic phenomena. We further review these sentences to understand why the recommendations cannot (or should not) always be applied when specifying large-scale projects.
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Anne Condamines, Maxime Warnier. Towards the creation of a CNL adapted to requirements writing by combining writing recommendations and spontaneous regularities : example in a Space Project. Language Resources and Evaluation, Springer Verlag, 2016, pp.221-247. ⟨http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10579-016-9368-1⟩. ⟨halshs-01379521⟩

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