Natural-Language Processing Support for Developing Policy-Governed Software Systems
Michael, James Bret
Ong, Vanessa L.
Rowe, Neil C.
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Organizations are policy-driven entities. Policy bases can be very large and the relationships between policies can be complex. In addition, policy can change on a frequent basis. Checking for gaps in policy or analyzing the ramifications of changing policy is necessary to both identify and rectify gaps or unintended policy prior to the policy base being refined into requirements for a system. A policy workbench is an integrated set of computer-based tools for developing, reasoning about, and maintaining policy. A workbench takes as input a computationally equivalent form of policy statements. We have developed a prototype of a tool that maps natural-language policy statements to an equivalent computational form. In this paper we describe the architecture of a naturallanguage input-processing tool (NLIPT). It has an extractor, which generates a meaning list representative of the natural-language input; an index-term generator, which identifies the key terms used to index relevant policy schema in the policy base; a structural modeler, which structures a schema for input; and a logic modeler, which maps the schema to an equivalent logical form. We experimented with a prototype of the extractor which successfully parsed a sample of ninety-nine NPS security policy statements with 96% accuracy.
This paper appeared in the 39th International Conference on Technology of Object-Oriented Languages and Systems (TOOLS ’01), Santa Barbara, CA, July-August 2001, 263-274.
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