Business Forecasts as Verifiable Explanations of Expected Value
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Business Forecasts as Verifiable Explanations of Expected Value

An OECD report [1] estimated that there were about 41,000 publicly traded companies in the world in 2019. Given the usual reporting requirements of listed companies, each maintains a forecast of future conditions that may matter to its financials. In other words, each of these companies has a narrative about a future, according to what…

What Is Destructive in a Requirements Loop?
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What Is Destructive in a Requirements Loop?

Why is a Requirements Loop a loop, and why is it a destructive loop? Any Requirements Loop has three explanations: an explanation of requirements, of a solution to these requirements, and of how to show that the solution satisfies requirements. Simply put, if an explanation gives the mechanism generating some events of interest (as in…

Requirements Loops: Decomposing an Example
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Requirements Loops: Decomposing an Example

An exercise I used to do with students in my Decision Analysis & Requirements Engineering lecture was to ask them to identify a problem that they have at university, and to describe it. My goal was to have them work in that lecture on problems that affected them. One group of students, in the 2019-2020…

Requirements Loops: Examples
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Requirements Loops: Examples

Several examples of Requirements Loop concept instances (actual Requirements Loops) are given below. Each example is represented simply as text. No specific modeling language is used. This is because the Requirements Loop concept ignores the specifics one or of the language mix that may be best suited to represent the information which makes up an…

Requirements Loops: Definition & Purpose
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Requirements Loops: Definition & Purpose

A “Requirements Loop” is an evidence-supported explanation of  How observed events in an environment have led or are leading to the creation and persistence of those requirements, How to change the environment in order to satisfy the requirements in the future, and How to measure the change in the environment, in order to evaluate the…

Machine/AI as Inventor? Notes on Thaler v. USPTO
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Machine/AI as Inventor? Notes on Thaler v. USPTO

Can “an artificial intelligence machine be an ‘inventor’ under the Patent Act”? According to the Memorandum Opinion filed on September 2, 2021, in the case 1:20-cv-00903, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) requires that the inventor is one or more people [1]. An “AI machine” cannot be named an inventor on a patent that…

When (if ever) Is a Claim Objective?
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When (if ever) Is a Claim Objective?

“Objective”, as in, for example, “what I’m saying is objective”, or “that statement is objective”, or “we need objective criteria when making these decisions”, is a complicated term. It takes a lot of effort to make sure it is understood as intended (or closely enough). It is therefore a costly word to use. Why is…

What Is Evidence?
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What Is Evidence?

There is no single definition of the term “evidence”, and trying to make one isn’t the purpose of this text. But there are ways of telling if something might be evidence, and knowing when it clearly isn’t. Such knowledge helps you develop a taste, so to speak, in evidence. Isn’t that valuable, given how frequently you may be giving evidence to support your ideas, and how frequently others do the same to you?

What Is an Explanation?
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What Is an Explanation?

Many people spent a lot of time, across centuries, trying to build good explanations, and trying to distinguish good from bad ones. While there is no consensus on what “explanation” is (always and everywhere), it is worth knowing what good explanations may have in common. It helps develop a taste in explanations, which is certainly helpful given how frequently you may need to explain something, and how often others offered explanations to you.

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Requirements Contracts: Definition, Design, and Analysis

What are the necessary and sufficient conditions for a proposition to be called a requirement? In Requirements Engineering research, a proposition is a requirement if and only if specific grammatical and/or communication conditions hold. I offer an alternative, that a proposition is a requirement if and only if specific contractual, economic, and engineering relationships hold….

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What Happens to Intentional Concepts in Requirements Engineering if Intentional States Cannot Be Known?

I assume in this paper that the proposition “I cannot know your intentional states” is true. I consider its consequences on the use of so-called “intentional concepts” for Requirements Engineering. I argue that if you take this proposition to be true, then intentional concepts (e.g., goal, belief, desire, intention, etc.) start to look less relevant…