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[protege-discussion] Using Protege as a Software Requirements Database Tool

Tania Tudorache tudorache at stanford.edu
Wed Jun 4 14:38:04 PDT 2008


Hi Ron,

I don't know if this will be useful. I have made the ontologies 
(including requirements ontology) that I have developed some times ago 
available on the web:

http://protegewiki.stanford.edu/index.php/Engineering_ontologies#Engineering_ontologies

The ontologies are very generic and can be easily extended.

You can look at an example (EngineTransmission_3) to get an idea how one 
could use Protege as a requirements editor. In my previous job, we have 
developed our own UI to acquire the requirements. The UI used Protege as 
a backend and a requirements ontology.

I have also attached to the email a screenshot of a requirement instance 
(of course, it could look differently, if needed).

Tania



Ron Schultz wrote:
> Tania,
>  
> I have Protege discussion queries going back over 3 years asking about 
> requirements models. If there is a requirements ontology available, I 
> have yet to see one. Any references or pointers would be greatly 
> appreciated. My last correspondence was with Ray Fergerson, back in 
> March, 2005.
>  
> Thanks Tania.
>  
> Schultz, Ron wrote:
> > I was wondering if anyone has pointers or references to a Software 
> Requirements Model, a Software
> Components Model, or a Software Testing Model, using Protégé.
> >
> > Ron Schultz
>  
> From: Ray Fergerson <fergerson <at> SMI.Stanford.EDU 
> <http://SMI.Stanford.EDU>>
> Subject: Re: Any Software Requirements Models, or Software Component 
> Models, or Software Testing Models available?
> Newsgroups: gmane.comp.misc.ontology.protege.general
> Date: 2005-03-04 18:04:23 GMT (3 years, 12 weeks, 6 days, 15 hours and 
> 51 minutes ago)
>
> You might have a look here:
> http://www.ics.uci.edu/~jgeorgas/ics225/index.htm 
> <http://www.ics.uci.edu/%7Ejgeorgas/ics225/index.htm>
> I ran across this page by accident one day looking for something else. 
> I don't really know much about it but it appears relevant.
> Ray
>
>  
> On Mon, Jun 2, 2008 at 9:56 PM, Tania Tudorache 
> <tudorache at stanford.edu <mailto:tudorache at stanford.edu>> wrote:
>
>     Hi Tomas,
>
>     Tomas Potok wrote:
>     > Hello!
>     >
>     > Your post made me excited a bit, because currently I am pursuing
>     the same goal,
>     > I'd like to move to Protege as a Knowledge base for storing
>     requirements. My
>     > main motivation would be the extensive possibilities of
>     classifying, searching
>     > and cross-referencing the reqs (+ multiple users at once).
>     >
>     > I tried to set up Protege Frames in Collaborative mode
>     (client+server) with a
>     > MySQL database as a storage backend, but the solution is a bit
>     restrictive at the
>     > moment.
>     >
>     > Downsides:
>     > - I struggle with the immaturity of the system (instability, a
>     LOT of
>     > uncatched exceptions - no sign of an error report to the user,
>     slowness, ...)
>     >
>
>     I wonder if this was not more a configuration issue. If you got a
>     lot of
>     exceptions it might indicate that something was not set up correctly.
>     We know of several projects that are using successfully protege in
>     client-server mode, also with large ontologies, both in OWL and in
>     Frames.
>
>     The slowness is also something that should not be the case. What
>     version
>     of Protege did you try? How large was the ontology?
>     It is true, that we have optimized the client-server architecture for
>     browsing and editing classes, and not so much for
>     instances/individuals.
>     If you have thousands of individuals, probably the IndividualsTab was
>     slow (in OWL), but there are ways around it.
>
>     If you still reproduce the exceptions that you got previously,
>     please do
>     post them, so that we can fix the issues.
>
>     > - no possibility to edit Forms in Collaborative mode (but this
>     can be
>     > lived with in my case)
>     >
>     Indeed. However, it is still possible to configure the forms on the
>     server and all the clients would see them the next time they would log
>     in. We are looking into ways of allowing clients to configure the
>     forms.
>
>     > - I managed to damage my database with a simple drag&drop
>     operation with NO
>     > possibility to Undo.
>     >
>     How did you damage the database? Did you get any exceptions? If
>     you did,
>     please do send them to us, so that we can fix them.
>     Undo is explicitly disabled in client-server mode, because a user may
>     undo with knowing operations that have been performed by other
>     users in
>     between.
>
>
>     > - Very simplistic Access Control.
>     > - Cumbersome Forms editor - no graphical group operations, e.g.
>     >
>     Actually, if you edit the Project instances in the metaproject, the
>     forms should be quite intuitive. We plan to make a more specialized UI
>     for  editing of access information, but this was not a priority yet. I
>     don't think this is a big limitation.
>
>     > - Cumbersome installation (need to modify batch files, no script
>     for server
>     > shutdown, ...)
>     >
>     I do not totally agree with that. To start the server you just
>     start the
>     "run_protege_server.sh" (or .bat). There is also a shut down script in
>     the Protege installation directory, called
>     "shutdown_protege_server.sh"
>     (or .bat). We also have a lot of documentation about how to set up the
>     server to work with firewalls, and other configurations on the wiki
>     (http://protegewiki.stanford.edu/index.php/Protege_Client-Server_Tutorial).
>     And if there are any questions, please do post them on this mailing
>     list. We are doing our best to answer all questions in reasonable
>     time.
>
>
>     > What I still have not explored is the possibility of advanced
>     reporting -
>     > generating requirement documents (you seem to have some
>     expertise here
>     > already?).
>     >
>     > What I also fear is the relative hardness of querying the db:
>     > - Queries tab can only do AND-ed or OR-ed conditions (probably
>     there exists a
>     > possibility to script stuff...?)
>     >
>
>     Yes, you can use the ScriptsTab and query any information in the
>     knowledge base. If you are using OWL, then you can use  SWRL
>     queries and
>     SPARQL queries.
>
>     > - No possibility to further process the results (like
>     visualizing them using
>     > OntoWiz, e.g.) - the only option is to export to CSV and
>     postprocess.
>     >
>
>     That is an interesting idea. I think this can be easily
>     implemented. If
>     anyone is interested, I can point them to the parts of code that
>     need to
>     be changed.
>     > I fear I'll have to abandon my efforts in this direction which
>     I'm really sad
>     > about, because at first it seemed to me I found a perfect tool
>     for the job.
>     > What I'm persuaded about is the suitability of Ontologies for
>     storing/working
>     > with Software Requirements. But I've found no usable tool yet.
>     >
>
>     Sorry to hear about your disappointment. I have the impression that
>     several of the issues that you encountered were more configuration
>     problems. If you want to give them one more try with the new
>     version of
>     Protege, I am happy to help.
>
>     Related to the requirements modeling: There must be requirements
>     ontology already available on the web that you can reuse. In my
>     previous
>     life, I have developed a requirements ontology for product development
>     (not specifically software). It deals with requirements
>     decompositions,
>     derivation, attachment to different components, test cases, etc.
>     However
>     it was in frames, not OWL. I am sure there must be software
>     requirements
>     ontologies already available on the web.
>
>     Protege with its form mechanism it is actually very good at acquiring
>     instances. It will generate automatically a form based on the slots
>     attached to the class. You can also customize the appearance of the
>     forms, and also the widgets to be used for acquiring the values of a
>     property.
>
>     It is also possible to export the data form the ontology in any
>     form you
>     want, by either writing an export plugin, or by using the script
>     tab and
>     a familiar scripting language.
>
>     Cheers,
>     Tania
>
>     > I'd be happy to hear about your results,
>     >
>     > Cheers,
>     >
>     > Tomas
>     >
>     > On Sat, 31 May 2008, Ron Schultz wrote:
>     >
>     >
>     >> I was wondering if anyone has pointers or references to a Software
>     >> Requirements Model using Protege. I am exploring Protege as a
>     means to
>     >> document, manage, and evaluate the imact of changes, to a software
>     >> requirements database (between 2500 and 5000 individual requirement
>     >> instances). I have built a simple ontology and can export the
>     requirements
>     >> document using DocGen, but I am going to need to finer grain
>     control over the
>     >> output formatting and namespace management. Protege 3.4 seems
>     to have features
>     >> I can utilize for better namespace control, but I wanted to
>     verify that
>     >> someone else has not already gone down this path before - with
>     either success
>     >> or failure.
>     >>
>     >> Lessons learned before the fact tend to be valuable, lessons
>     learned after the
>     >> fact tend to be brutal.
>     >>
>     >> Thanks
>     >>
>     >> Ron Schultz
>     >>
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>
> -- 
> Ron Schultz
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
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