Authoring natural language requirements with EARS (Easy Approach to Requirements Syntax) come and listen to our presentation.
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System requirements are usually written in unconstrained natural language (NL), which is inherently imprecise. Often, requirements authors are not trained in how to write requirements. During system development, requirements problems propagate to lower levels. This creates unnecessary volatility and risk, impacting programme schedule and cost. The Easy Approach to Requirements Syntax (EARS) is a mechanism to gently constrain NL requirements.
The EARS patterns provide structured guidance that enable authors to write high quality textual requirements. EARS requirements have a set syntax (structure), with an underlying ruleset. A small number of keywords are used to denote the different clauses of an EARS requirement.
The clauses are always in the same order, following temporal logic. The syntax and keywords closely match common usage of English and are therefore intuitive. EARS reduces or even eliminates common problems found in NL requirements. EARS has proved popular with practitioners because it is lightweight, there is little training overhead, no specialist tool is necessary, and the resultant requirements are easy to read.
EARS is used worldwide by large and small organisations in different domains. These include blue chip companies such as Bosch, Daimler, Honeywell, Intel, Rolls-Royce and Siemens.
The notation is taught at universities around the world including in China, France, Sweden, UK and USA. This presentation will give an overview of the key concepts of EARS and provide examples of EARS requirements.
About the speaker
Alistair Mavin (Mav)
Mav is an independent requirements specialist based in the UK. He is known internationally for his requirements training, coaching and consulting. Mav has worked as a requirements specialist at Rolls-Royce PLC, as a requirements consultant at Praxis Critical Systems (now Altran UK) and as a researcher/practitioner transferring requirements research into practice at City University in London.
He has carried out requirements engineering projects in domains including aerospace, automotive, defence, industrial plant design, rail and software systems. He is experienced in facilitating creativity and innovation workshops to generate novel requirements and design ideas. Mav is the lead author of the EARS approach to requirements and has published many peer-reviewed papers on requirements, systems engineering and creativity.
All of Mav’s papers are available to download at Researchgate. A confident and engaging speaker, he has delivered keynote speeches and invited industry presentations at many international conferences. Mav has been a member of the IEEE “RE” conference series Industry Committee for 15 years, was Industry Chair for RE13 and Industry Laboratory Chair for RE14. He is a member of the British Computer Society (BCS) and the BCS Requirements Engineering Specialist Group committee. He is a chartered engineer.
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