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ReSA: An Ontology-based Requirement Specification Language Tailored to Automotive Systems



Nesredin Mahmud, Cristina Seceleanu, Oscar Ljungkrantz

Publication Type:

Conference/Workshop Paper


10th IEEE International Symposium on Industrial Embedded Systems




Automotive systems are developed using multi-leveled architectural abstractions in an attempt to manage the increasing complexity and criticality of automotive functions. Consequently, well-structured and unambiguously specified requirements are needed on all levels of abstraction, in order to enable early detection of possible design errors. However, automotive industry often relies on requirements specified in ambiguous natural language, sometimes in large and incomprehensible documents. Semi-formal requirements specification approaches (e.g., requirement boilerplates, pattern-based specifications, etc.) aim to reduce requirements ambiguity, without altering their readability and expressiveness. Nevertheless, such approaches do not offer support for specifying requirements in terms of multileveled architectural concepts, nor do they provide means for early-stage rigorous analysis of the specified requirements.In this paper, we propose a language, called ReSA, which allows requirements specification at various levels of abstraction, modeled in the architectural language of EAST-ADL. ReSA uses an automotive systems’ ontology that offers typing and syntactic axioms for the specification. Besides enforcing structure and more rigor in specifying requirements, our approach enables checking refinement as well as consistency of requirements, by proving ordinary boolean implications. To illustrate ReSA’s applicability, we show how to specify some requirements of the Adjustable Speed Limiter, which is a complex, safety-critical Volvo Trucks user function.


author = {Nesredin Mahmud and Cristina Seceleanu and Oscar Ljungkrantz},
title = {ReSA: An Ontology-based Requirement Specification Language Tailored to Automotive Systems},
month = {June},
year = {2015},
booktitle = {10th IEEE International Symposium on Industrial Embedded Systems},
publisher = {IEEE CS},
url = {}