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System Engineering

Specification Analysis Tool

Play Video The Specification Analysis Tool (SAT) augments existing Computer Automated Software Engineering (CASE) and Requirement Management Tools such as DOORS to fill the important need to help organizations create requirement text. It does not matter if you use Structured System Analysis (SSA), Object Oriented Analysis and Design (OOA and OOD), IDEF0 through IDEF14, Unified Modeling Language (UML), Object-Modeling Technique (OMT), Use Cases or other formal methods, in the end you will still need to create text based requirements. SAT replaces check lists, classroom instruction, on the job training, and personal research at the company library with a tool that helps the professional and the young technologist to write good specifications by codifying and using the organizations own rules.

SAT is a revolutionary new automation aid to help organizations develop clean useful specifications that contain clear, complete, consistent, and testable requirements. SAT performs automated specification analysis very fast but allows Humans to make final decisions at each level. It is service based and allows you to determine which level of services are needed for any given specification analysis task. SAT makes recommendations for each problem guiding newly minted staff in the specification creation process. While performing these services it gathers metrics and makes them available for easy review allowing you to optimize your rules across projects.

Description . Theory . Features . Sample Analysis

see who has downloaded SAT


The need for clear consistent testable specifications has been apparent for over 2 decades. The approaches have been to create formal specification methods or to manage informal written words, which represent requirements. The latter has become the primary method of creating specifications for most organizations. The System Requirements Database (SRDB) has been introduced to help manage requirement statements, however the SRDB, though effective at showing parent child relationships and managing attributes does not address the fundamental problem of creating a clear consistent testable requirement object. Different organizations have unique ad hoc solutions to this dilemma. What has surfaced is the potential need for a method and tool to analyze a specification and provide guidance in corrective actions. The few current approaches are to attempt to encode the rules within a tool, hidden from the user. However empirical data suggests that organizations have different rules for what they consider valid requirement statements and so what is needed is a method and tool that will allow each organization to encode their own specification analysis rules.

SAT is a method and tool that allows each organization to codify their own 'working' specification analysis rules. Embedded within SAT are certain fundamental principals such as services and layering of services from simple to complex. This principal allows the tool to immediately provide results to the organization as the rules mature and SAT mining techniques are refined. In the end the services allow an organization to mine potential key requirements from analysis documents and compare them with the actual key requirements in the baseline - your specifications.

With SAT, there is no reason to fear a specification review. Your management will gladly schedule this project critical review because SAT will allow them to close on the activity in a controlled efficient manner. No more arguments and bouncing back and forth as schedule slips away and the process is marginalized. The process shines with SAT.

SAT allows a user to submit specifications for req's review. The reqs are subjected to predefined and user defined rules. These rules are well known, but rarely found consistently and completely within an organization. Even when some of the rules are known, examination of a specification may never happen. The trick is to actually schedule a review of a spec once there is a sufficient level of content to stop poor requirements and effectively control requirement generation. The price for not cleaning up a specification is now trivial with the introduction of SAT. The price of a messy spec is project failure, plain and simple.



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About SAT

SAT Role in Requirement Management

SAT Role in Architecture Development


Improvement Requests


Template Suggestions

Engine Suggestions

Alternative Application Requests

You upload your specification and press submit.

Your suspect requirements are listed with color, status, and descriptive text of the offense and what to do about it.

Too much information, no problem, enable and disable the reports as you need to accomplish your analysis and recommendations.

Need to modify or create a rule, just check show rules and author what you need.

Rules are grouped into services so that you can perform very different analysis within a single template.

Representative Screen Shot - SAT has much more...

The beauty of SAT is its ability for you to define your own rules. SAT comes preloaded with a set of rules that allow you to immediately start adding value to your project while at the same time providing you with real world examples to help you synthesize  your special rules for your world.

Representative Screen Shot - SAT has much more...

Rules are independent of your uploaded specification file format. Your specification file can be a DOORS spreadsheet export or a text version of your document.

The kinds of requirement text deficiencies the preloaded SAT rules look for are: Untestable, Unsure, Vague, Compound, Internal References, Not Standalone, Fragments, Directives, Duplicates.

Rules not only look for bad requirement text but do complex abstract tasks like look for capabilities, key requirements, determine reading level, analyze document structure, and what you can codify.

In the end metrics are gathered so that you know when you are done.

Running SAT

How long should it take to review a specification? The answer is simple: 1 to 3 days. Shocking, but that is correct. In 1-3 days any specification analysis should be complete regardless of size. SAT is very fast and starts to give output in 60 seconds. The issues are known within an hour. The staff argues over results for 1-3 days. Once you know your possible requirement issues, the next step is to make the appropriate modifications and close the activity.

Predicting specification modifications resulting from this type of review is more difficult, but 1 - 5 minutes per requirement is a reasonable starting point for your planning, because there is no argument, no conflict, no one being marginalized. The problem is shown in color and most solutions are instantly apparent. That does not mean you will not be challenged. The difference is you will now address your challenge as mature men and women using logic and reason in the open rather than hidden agendas, whispers, mumbo jumbo, and fear.

Alternative Applications

Architects: Surface key requirements
Spec Writers: Establish clean baselines
Designers Implementors: Interpret & implement reqs
QA: Impartial watchdog against poor req baseline
Test: Focus attention on poor req areas
IV&V: Look for potential problems in design & implementation

Little did we know that when we created SAT to help users write good specs that other SAT applications would surface. In fact SAT can be used throughout the life cycle and across the spectrum of programs. From domain engineering in product line settings to creating new blank sheet systems, SAT mining provides valuable services.

You have analysis documents and no requirements. You have specs and manuals from similar systems. You have documents and you don't know what they say. You have documents out the wazo, but you have no requirement text. You have no key requirements. You have nothing except a schedule. Just drop these documents into SAT and let it mine their contents using existing rules to find those potential requirements. Tune the existing rules and create new rules as you view the reports and get everything you can from a potential requirement point of view out of these external documents. Now coordinate with your stakeholders and write those specifications. After you create those requirements, drop them back into SAT a second time to make sure you have clear, complete, consistent, and testable requirements. Now Fire up SAT a third time to look for key requirements in your new specs and compare that set with your initial set when you crunched those initial documents, while hunting for those elusive key requirements. Finally show your key requirements mined by SAT to your stakeholders.

So here is what SAT can do for you:

All Specification Development Phases
Software, Hardware, Systems, Mechanical, Production, Chemical, Civil, Logistics, Support, Training, Reliability, etc
Quality Assurance, Test, Validation
From Program Concept to IV&V
From major system development to university level education

Profile your previous specifications
Compare current specifications with your profile
Profile your previous key requirements
Compare current key requirements with your profile
Mine related documents to surface requirements
Preliminary spec analysis 5 minutes tuned analysis 1 hour
Staff argues over results 3 days
Staff released to concentrate on hard stuff priceless

Lets machines do what they do well like search, count, filter, categorize, profile, visualize
Lets humans do what they do well like creativity, critical thinking, inspiration, intuition

Once your stakeholders buy into SAT you will never go back to your backward ways again...

SAT Theory

SAT is a process and method instantiated with Internet technologies to analyze documents. It is not unlike an Internet search engine, however instead of returning web pages, SAT returns lines of text from a document under analysis. It begins with uploading a document or pointing to a directory of data, subjecting the data to an engine, and directing the engine to process the data based on user defined rules similar to Internet search engines. The user fills in search criteria, checks some boxes, and provides unique text descriptions related to a rule. That is why our product page lists different products in unexpected areas.

Our products share a common characteristic; the potential need for someone to process documents based on rules. The SAT rules deal with precisely written statements. Most of our initial products are based on the need to process and understand precisely written statements, but not all the products, including SAT, must slice and dice precise text. For example, it is trivial to add a SAT rule to find all acronyms in a document. It is also possible to create SAT rules to verify compliance to Data Item Descriptions (DID). However, the SAT core is to help users write requirement text.


- Works on your computer
- Fast 150 pages in 60 seconds
- Help with Use Cases
- HTML Reporting
- Accepts txt, csv, html, and doc formats
- Accepts DOORS Exports using Excel .csv
- Attempts Automatic .doc Parse
- PUI Preservation or Generation, if None Present

- User Defined Imperatives
- Process Only Imperatives or Process all Option
- Remove Blank Lines Option
- Remove HTML Tags Option
- Preview Uploaded Document Prior to Analysis
- Library Documents, Templates, Reports, Analysis

- User Authored Templates, Services, & Rules
- Template Naming, Description, and Summary
- Rule Naming, Description, and Attributes
- Reading Level Report
- Document Shape Report
- Find Approximate Duplicates Using Masking
- Document Structure Analysis
- Capabilities Analysis
- Key Requirements Analysis
- Significant Report Display Filtering
- User Accept or Reject Of Each Object
- Full or Partial Rule Reports on Each Object
- Object Hyper Links to Document for Context
- Object Hyper Links To Rule with Short Report
- User Defined Noise Word Filtering
- Profile of all Document Words and Counts
- Profile of all Missed Words in Rules
- Key Word Analysis Context Search

- Metrics Assessment: is this a Spec or not
- Multidimensional Metric Counts including Norm
- Hyper Links From Each Metric To Rule

The following is a sample of companies and organizations that have downloaded one or more of our products:


Lockheed Martin


United Technologies Corp


Northrop Grumman




Smiths Group

Booz Allen Hamilton

Rockwell Collins


Gentex Corporation

BAE Systems

US National Institute of Health

U.S. Dept of Health & Human Services



Aerospace Corporation



Air Force






Dell Computers

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