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The development of system requirements has been recognized as one of the major problems in the process of developing data processing system software. We have developed a computer-aided system for maintaining and analyzing such requirements. This system includes the Requirements Statement Language (RSL), a flow-oriented language for the expression of software requirements, and the Requirements Engineering and Validation System (REVS), a software package which includes a translator for RSL, a data base for maintaining the description of system requirements, and a collection of tools to analyze the information in the data base. The system emphasizes a balance between the use of the creativity of human thought processes and the rigor and thoroughness of computer analysis. To maintain this balance, two key design principles–extensibility and disciplined thinking–were foliowed throughout the system. Both the language and the software are easily user-extended, but adequate locks are placed on extensions, and limitations are imposed on use, so that discipline is augmented rather than decreased.
Date of Publication: Jan. 1977