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Abstract

[Context and motivation] Ambiguity has long been pictured as one of the worst enemies of the specifier, especially with reference to ambiguity in natural language (NL) requirements specifications. [Question/problem] In this paper, we investigate the nature of ambiguity, and [Principal ideas/result] advocate that the simplistic view of ambiguity as merely a “defect” that has to be avoided at all costs does not do justice to the complexity of this phenomenon. We also provide a finer classification of several types of ambiguities, distinguishing their different causes and effects in the development process. [Contribution] This better understanding can help in the analysis of practical experiences and in the design of more effective methods to detect, mark and handle ambiguity.

Keywords

Ambiguity natural language abstraction absence 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vincenzo Gervasi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Didar Zowghi
    • 2
  1. 1.Dipartimento di InformaticaUniversità di PisaItaly
  2. 2.Faculty of Eng. and Inf. TechnologyUniversity of TechnologySydneyAustralia

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