Technology Re-investment Project
Andersen Consulting


Improving the Quality of Component Business Systems with Knowledge Engineering

Demo for the TRP Process Tools



Luis Montero, Colin T. Scott

Andersen Consulting

161 North Clark St., IL 60601 USA

Telephone: (312) 693-1052

Fax: (312) 652-1052

{Luis.Montero, Colin.T.Scott}




Time: 30 minutes

Requirements: No HW or SW pre-installation is necessary. We can take a powerful laptop with everything installed

Abstract - Introduction
This demo was put together to allow the TRP team to demonstrate the integration between the different tools in the environment, specifically those related to domain analysis (more specifically, knowledge engineering), and the conversion of information between the TRP tools. These tools support the Component Based Solution Construction approach presented in the main article.

The example used in the Raytheon CBMS - Defense Design Review (DDR) system. This will illustrate how the knowledge engineering tools can find their way in the industrial, commercial world.

The process starts with LIDA, a tool allowing the Requirements Analyst and Knowledge Engineer to process a text document, result from a transcript with the domain experts in DDR, and perform Natural Language Analysis to help the Knowledge Engineer.

The following Toolset is PCPACK. We perform a demonstration of DDR. Several tools within PCPACK are used in the demonstration, illustrating how the domain details are captured with them. The result is exported into a CDIF file.

The CoGenTex Model Explainer tool is opened next. It will explain verbally (Natural Language Generation) the different models in PCPACK.

OTV (Object Technology Visualization) is opened next, with the result of exporting PCPACK contents from the DDR project. OTV allows us to introduce actual interactions and perform a 3-D animation for validation purposes. The result is exported into a CDIF file

The Transformations Architecture is used to convert the PCPACK results into Rational Rose input. (Alternatively, OTV CDIF file can be used as an input).

ACT (asset catalog tool) is presented next in order to show how the assets from the different tools above can be visualized and their documentation can be maintained, as imported from CDIF files. It will also present the DDR components specification.

Finally Rational Rose, an Object CASE tool is opened, and the CDIF file, result of the transformation process, is imported into Rational Rose. We demonstrate that the resulting class models are exactly those in PCPACK, including attributes, operations and relations, and we illustrate how interaction diagrams are generated in Rational Rose based on that information.

The following sections will show the sequence in more detail, including snapshots, as required, and also pieces of "speech" (in small yellow font), in case they help to understand the context

Speech: TRP Tools and Transformations Overview

"The TRP transformation process allows the user to move information between tools in the TRP environment. This demo shows transformation all the way from knowledge acquisition activities to component development activities using different tools. At present, there is no single tool that covers the full lifecycle, hence the reason and need to create this process. For our purpose, we have selected CDIF as a means of data transfer. The tools we have selected are LIDA, PCPACK and Model Explainer, for Domain Analysis. OTV is the tool selected for validation of Domain Analysis: it is a visualization tool that allows the user to animate in 3-D scenarios between classes showing their collaborations. ACT (Asset Catalog Tool) is the tool illustrating how the assets from different tools are edited to specify the system components and their provided and required interfaces in CSL and CORBA-IDL languages. Rational Rose and Paradigm Plus are the Object CASE modeling tools, able to generate final code templates. We are using Rational Rose for this particular demonstration.

Speech: LIDA

"LIDA is a tool that allows the user to input a text file and it will look for morphological categories, like nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, etc. It will even normalize the inputs (singular-plural, verb tenses, etc). The tool allows the user to pre-markup any of them as concepts, processes, attributes, values, relations, etc., and it is directly integrated with PCPACK so that the result can be opened with PCPACK Protocol Editor, and all mark-ups will show. The tool even allows the user to put special marks for words and sentences for further annotation. The tool is developed in Java"

LIDA menu

PCPACK is a set of knowledge acquisition tools supporting Domain Analysis. To do so, the knowledge engineers have as input:

1- REQUIRED SOLUTION: Interviews, Previous system documentation and legacy business strategies and policies

2- CONCRETE KNOWLEDGE: Detailed domain information from experts and users

3- ABSTRACT KNOWLEDGE: Abstract models from systems previously developed in similar business domains

and as output:

A. Domain Specifications

B. Process and Actor Specifications

C. Rule Specifications

PCPACK is well known by most of the audience. We will just show how it helped build the business system for Raytheon, and to illustrate the different models in the tools to show the transformation of contents to tools external to PCPACK.

We start opening GDM and see the model for this particular problem.


Protocol Editor

We will talk about how the user can mark concepts, attributes, values. Talk about the user pens, and how they have been customized for requirements engineering. Open full screen.

Laddering Tool

Open Laddering tool: We will show concepts and attributes as well as task decomposition. We will outline the future need of the Control Editor to complement the task decomposition ladder. Finally, we will present the requirements engineering ladder.

Control Editor

Open the Control Editor. We'll talk about the new items - actor, control flows, selection points,... We will show data stores as a means to cluster concepts (potentially future components). These data stores can be imported into OTV as clusters, into ACT as components, and into Rose as packages.

Relationships Tool

Open E-R Relationship Tool . This shows association between main elements in a domain. Make a note about the x,y positions of the elements, since we will later demonstrate how these are exported to other tools.

If time allows, Open Repertory Grid, Card Sort and Dependency Tools.

Main benefits of PCPACK:

Helps manager and analysts focusing on the target in the very beginning of the project, when they often do not have a clear idea on what to do. Integrates models from previous experiences with effective capture of particular domain information. Easy to use, practical and well integrated with other tools. Far more efficient than confronting design with a blank piece of paper with a pencil.

Exit GDM (exit PCPACK)

Speech: Model Explainer

This tool has been built, as LIDA, by CoGenTex, a key partner in the TRP project. Its purpose is to generate Natural Language explanations for models, targeted to people, usually at the managerial level, who understand better "verbal" information than "visual" information.


Speech: OTV

OTV is a tool that allows the user to represent the information in the form of classes, clustered into components, and the interactions between them, and animate it in a 3-D form. In addition to the visual "eye-capture" features, it really provides a framework for model validation, since any mistake about the interactions is going to show up much more easily.

Speech: ACT

ACT is the Asset Catalog Tool. After exporting the content from the previous tools to CDIF, it can be imported into ACT, and transformed into components view, which will be exported into CSL (Component Specifications Language) and CORBA IDL, in order to generate the components infrastructure. Browsing components is easy, as shown here:

Transformations Architecture menu

We open the Transformations interface () in order to export data from PCPACK into Rose.

In the meantime, we will open a text Editor (like MS-Word) and show the CDIF format. Show the (x.y) coordinates and cardinalities of relationships in it.

"We have come up with our own unique encoding for CDIF files for each tool. This allows us to identify one file from another, and also to address the differences in semantics"

We will select source PCPACK and target Rose

Upon completion, we will open Rose, compile and run the generated import file, that will populate the Rose while we are watching.

As you can see, we are dropping into Rose all classes, relations, ...

We will show how the (x.y) positions from PCPACK have been successfully imported into Rose.

Show the Interaction Diagram. These interactions were not available in PCPACK, but were converted by transformation rules from information in the Control Editor. These interaction diagrams allow a person to walk through an existing sample scenario instead of starting design from scratch.


Upon demand, we can show Transformations between tools in any order. For example Import into Rose from OTV (only if time allows)

End of Demo