Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Doris L. Carver


Software engineering defines a formalized five-step life-cycle for software development. These steps are: requirements specification, design, implementation, testing and maintenance. The requirements specification phase of the software development life-cycle is responsible for determining the functionality of the proposed system. In this work, a methodology is developed that enhances the generation of accurate requirements specifications, utilizing an object-oriented paradigm. This research realizes four objectives. First, the process of information transferral between the user and the specification team is enhanced. Second, a working base of knowledge containing the domain-specific information within the initial requirements document is established for use by the specification team. Third, techniques for evaluating the overall quality of the initial requirements document are addressed. Specifically, the problems associated with document ambiguity, completeness, consistency and structure are examined. Finally, a specification paradigm is defined utilizing this knowledge-based specification environment. The paradigm permits the automatic generation of an object-oriented specification model. This model may then be used as an input for the design phase. This paradigm defines a methodology for the establishment and evaluation of the knowledge-based specification environment. The environment permits the incorporation of an object-oriented development strategy into the specification process. In addition, the concept of information traceability throughout the specification process is enhanced.