Austin, former students and NASA colleague are issued US Patent 7,877,737

Associate Professor Mark Austin (CEE/ISR); former ISR Faculty Research Assistant Natalya Shmunis; ISR alumnus Vimal Mayank (MSSE 2003), now at Wachovia Corp.; and David Everett, a senior system engineer at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; are co-inventors of U.S. Patent 7,877,737, "tree-to-graph folding procedure for systems engineering requirements." The patent was issued on Jan. 25, 2011.

The invention is a method for generating a graph data representation having a plurality of nodes corresponding to respective systems engineering requirements. It includes accessing a first data representation of a collection of systems requirements and relationships there between and generating a second data representation of the collection of systems requirements. Generating the second data representation includes accessing respective systems requirements of the collection of systems requirements; creating a node to correspond to each accessed systems requirement if a node corresponding to the accessed systems requirement does not exist; and creating an edge between the created or pre-existing node and each node corresponding to a systems requirement having a relationship with the accessed systems requirement. Each node of the second data representation is a node of said graph data representation and corresponds to a different systems requirement of the collection of systems requirements.

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Published January 28, 2011