Easy Approach to Requirements Syntax (EARS)

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Easy Approach to Requirements Syntax (EARS)

The seminar will take place on 3rd of March at 7 pm at the Auditorium Manuel Martí Recober from Facultat d’Informàtica de Barcelona (building B6 from Campus Nord, ground floor)


System requirements are usually written in unconstrained natural language (NL), which is inherently imprecise. Often, requirements authors are not trained in how to write requirements. During system development, requirements problems propagate to lower levels. This creates unnecessary volatility and risk, impacting programme schedule and cost. The Easy Approach to Requirements Syntax (EARS) is a mechanism to gently constrain NL requirements. The EARS patterns provide structured guidance that enable authors to write high quality textual requirements. EARS requirements have a set syntax (structure), with an underlying ruleset. A small number of keywords are used to denote the different clauses of an EARS requirement. The clauses are always in the same order, following a natural order. The syntax and keywords closely match common usage of English and are therefore intuitive. EARS reduces or even eliminates common problems found in NL requirements. EARS has proved popular with practitioners because it is lightweight, there is little training overhead, no specialist tool is necessary, and the resultant requirements are easy to read. EARS is used worldwide by large and small organisations in different domains. These include blue chip companies such as Bosch, Daimler, Honeywell, Intel, Rolls-Royce and Siemens. The notation is taught at universities around the world including in China, France, Sweden, UK and USA. This presentation will give an overview of the key concepts of EARS and provide examples of EARS requirements.


Alistair Mavin (Mav) is an independent requirements specialist based in the UK. Mav worked as a requirements specialist at Rolls-Royce PLC for 14 years. He has carried out requirements engineering projects in a range of industries including aerospace, automotive, defence, industrial plant design, rail and software systems. He is the lead author of EARS and EARS+ and has experience in the development and delivery of requirements engineering training and in innovation and creativity support. Mav has published many papers on requirements and systems engineering. He was Industry Chair for IEEE RE13 conference and Industry Laboratory Chair for IEEE RE14 conference and is a member of the IEEE “RE” conference series Industry Committee. Mav is a member of IEEE, INCOSE, the British Computer Society (BSC) and the BCS Requirements Engineering Specialist Group committee and is a chartered engineer.



Places are limited and registration is required. Members can bring a companion and will have a preference in the allocation of seats.

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