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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Communicability of Natural Language in Software Representations

Communicability of Natural Language in Software Representations
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Author(s): Pankaj Kamthan (Concordia University, Canada)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 6
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch098


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In software engineering, separating problem and solutionlevel concerns and analyzing each of them in an abstract manner are established principles (Ghezzi, Jazayeri, & Mandrioli, 2003). A software representation, for instance, a model or a specification, is a product of such an analysis. These software representations can vary across a formality spectrum: informal (natural language), semi-formal (mathematics- based syntax), or formal (mathematics-based syntax and semantics). As software representations become pervasive in software process environments, the issue of their communicative efficacy arises. Our interest here is in software representations that make use of natural language and their communicability to their stakeholders in doing so. In this article, we take the position that if one cannot communicate well in a natural language, then one cannot communicate via other, more formal, means. The rest of the article is organized as follows. We first outline the background necessary for later discussion. This is followed by the proposal for a framework for communicability software representations that are created early in the software process and the role of natural language in them. We then illustrate that in software representations expressed in certain specific nonnatural languages. Next, challenges and directions for future research are outlined and, finally, concluding remarks are given.

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