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Extracting logic from legal documents


The Rule Management Group presented next to the OMG meeting on Decision Model Notation. The Rule Management Group is a Dutch firm focused on how to extract business logic from various sources when building decisions – especially on how to extract logic from text documents. They typically work with legal documents and legal experts to build a knowledge model from which they can extract a process model, a decision model and a data model while maintaining traceability to the document structure and even to the terms or phrases in the document. The documents are the driver but these typically contain errors and inconsistencies so the legal expert is essential for resolving these issues. Obviously this approach results in better compliance thanks to traceability and auditability for changes, more control and better communication and consistency.

Their experience is that legal documents tend to mix “what” (business rules) and “how” (business process). For the “what” they create a “legal” business object model using UML notation that contains concepts, their characteristics and relationships as well as the rules that manipulate this information. On the “how” side they document activities, actors, flows and times. All of this is linked back to the original legal text.

The “what” elements are, in many ways, some of the raw material you need for modeling decisions and can be represented in various ways. Today the tool is focused on managing the traceability of elements with more automation of the entity extraction and creation of elements. Running in Eclipse you can import legal documents (new or updated documents) and create the various logical models while maintaining the details linkage from the logical models deeply into the text. The logical models allow concepts, relations, attributes to be defined along with remarks, expert questions and more. Everything hyperlinks so you can navigate between the original text and the logical objects. Extreme traceability.