Natural Language Processing of Textual Use Cases

Master's thesis

Advisor: Vladimír Mencl
Author: Jaroslav Dražan


Use cases [1] written in natural language are usually employed for specifying functional requirements. Vladimír Mencl in [4] employed state-of-the-art linguistic tools (mainly English parser[2]) to extract behavior specification of a system under design from textual use cases. The behavior specification is described in the form of pro-cases [5]. His work [4] shows that this is possible but he met several issues. In this thesis, we solve some of the issues. We propose an algorithm based on the Mencl's algorithm which allows to process more use cases than the Mencl's one and we describe a metric which evaluate quality of a parse tree.


Current Status

The thesis has been successfully defended on Feb 6, 2006, and is now publicly accessible and available for download.


Resources available for download:

You may also wish to access the original thesis proposal.


[1] Cockburn, A.: Writing Effective Use Cases, Addison-Wesley Pub Co, ISBN: 0201702258, 1st edition, Jan 2000

[2] Collins, M: A New Statistical Parser Based on Bigram Lexical Dependencies., Proceedings of 34th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 1996, 24-27 June 1996, University of California, Santa Cruz, California, USA, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, 1996,

[3] Larman, C.: Applying UML and Patterns: An Introduction to Object-Oriented Analysis and Design and the Unified Process, Prentice Hall PTR, ISBN: 0130925691, 2nd ed, 20013

[4] Mencl, V.: Deriving Behavior Specifications from Textual Use Cases,in Proceedings of Workshop on Intelligent Technologies for Software Engineering (WITSE04, Sep 21, 2004, part of ASE 2004), Linz, Austria, ISBN 3-85403-180-7, pp. 331-341, Oesterreichische Computer Gesellschaft, Sep 2004

[5] Plasil, F., Mencl, V.: Getting "Whole Picture" Behavior in a Use Case Model, in Proceedings of IDPT 2003, Austin, Texas, U.S.A., Dec 2003, ISSN 1090-9389