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Semantic Software Lab
Concordia University
Montréal, Canada

Ontology-Based Classification of Non-Functional Requirements in Software Specifications: A new Corpus and SVM-Based Classifier

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TitleOntology-Based Classification of Non-Functional Requirements in Software Specifications: A new Corpus and SVM-Based Classifier
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2013
Refereed DesignationRefereed
AuthorsRashwan, A., O. Ormandjieva, and R. Witte
Conference NameThe 37th Annual International Computer Software & Applications Conference (COMPSAC 2013)
Date Published07/2013
Conference LocationKyoto, Japan
KeywordsRequirements Corpus Development, Requirements Ontology, Software Requirements Engineering, SVM Classifier

A software requirements specification (SRS) contains all the requirements for a system-to-be. These are typically separated into functional requirements (FR), which describe the features of the system under development, and the non-functional requirements (NFR), which include quality attributes, design constraints, among others. It is well known that NFRs have a large impact on the overall cost and time of the system development process, as they frequently describe cross-cutting concerns. In order to improve software development support, an automated analysis of SRS documents for different NFR types is required. Our work contains two significant contributions towards this goal: (1) A new gold standard corpus containing annotations for different NFR types, based on a requirements ontology; and (2) a Support Vector Machine (SVM) classifier to automatically categorize requirements sentences into different ontology classes. Results obtained from two different SRS corpora demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach.


Copyright © 2013 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE. This material is presented to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. All persons copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. In most cases, these works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder. DOI: 10.1109/COMPSAC.2013.64


Rolan Abdukalykov, Olga Ormandjieva, Ishrar Hussain, Mohamad Kassab, and Zakaria Siddiqui are acknowledged for annotating the corpus. We also thank Matthew Smith for managing the manual annotation process.

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