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Addressing Legal Requirements in Requirements Engineering

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2 Author(s)
Otto, P.N. ; North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh ; Anton, A.I.

Legal texts, such as regulations and legislation, are playing an increasingly important role in requirements engineering and system development. Monitoring systems for requirements and policy compliance has been recognized in the requirements engineering community as a key area for research. Similarly, regulatory compliance is critical in systems that are governed by regulations and law, especially given that non-compliance can result in both financial and criminal penalties. Working with legal texts can be very challenging, however, because they contain numerous ambiguities, cross-references, domain-specific definitions, and acronyms, and are frequently amended via new regulations and case law. Requirements engineers and compliance auditors must be able to identify relevant regulations, extract requirements and other key concepts, and monitor compliance throughout the software lifecycle. This paper surveys research efforts over the past 50 years in handling legal texts for systems development. These efforts include the use of symbolic logic, logic programming, first-order temporal logic, deontic logic, defeasible logic, goal modeling, and semi-structured representations. This survey can aid requirements engineers and auditors to better specify, monitor, and test software systems for compliance.

Published in:

Requirements Engineering Conference, 2007. RE '07. 15th IEEE International

Date of Conference:

15-19 Oct. 2007