Bayzid Ashik Hossain
CNL-ER: A Controlled Natural Language for Specifying and Verbalising Entity Relationship Models
Bayzid Ashik Hossain | Gayathri Rajan | Rolf Schwitter
Proceedings of the The 17th Annual Workshop of the Australasian Language Technology Association
The first step towards designing an information system is conceptual modelling where domain experts and knowledge engineers identify the necessary information together to build an information system. Entity relationship modelling is one of the most popular conceptual modelling techniques that represents an information system in terms of entities, attributes and relationships. Entity relationship models are constructed graphically but are often difficult to understand by domain experts. To overcome this problem, we suggest to verbalise these models in a controlled natural language. In this paper, we present CNL-ER, a controlled natural language for specifying and verbalising entity relationship (ER) models that not only solves the verbalisation problem for these models but also provides the benefits of automatic verification and validation, and semantic round-tripping which makes the communication process transparent between the domain experts and the knowledge engineers.
The key activity to design an information system is conceptual modelling which brings out and describes the general knowledge that is required to build a system. In this paper we propose a novel approach to conceptual modelling where the domain experts will be able to specify and construct a model using a restricted form of natural language. A restricted natural language is a subset of a natural language that has well-defined computational properties and therefore can be translated unambiguously into a formal notation. We will argue that a restricted natural language is suitable for writing precise and consistent specifications that lead to executable conceptual models. Using a restricted natural language will allow the domain experts to describe a scenario in the terminology of the application domain without the need to formally encode this scenario. The resulting textual specification can then be automatically translated into the language of the desired conceptual modelling framework.