Better Elicitation and Communication of Arguments Underlying Software Engineering (BECAUSE) is a computer program that records and codifies the rationale that underlies decisions made in the course of developing software. To minimize the additional sensory, cognitive, and motor demands upon the computer programmer and the time needed for the rationale-capture task, BECAUSE elicits spoken commentary, from the programmer, in regard to the specific software design or source code on which the programmer is currently working. Therefore, a microphone and speech-digitizing circuitry are used and BECAUSE incorporates speech-recognition software that processes digitized speech signals. BECAUSE also incorporates subprograms that perform the following functions:

  • Elicitation — asking questions of the programmer to stimulate commentary;
  • Correlation — mapping the captured commentary to the design or code segments being edited during the commentary;
  • Abstraction — mapping the commentary to explicitly or implicitly referenced higher-level entities, including issues, software objects, and design changes;
  • Navigation — placing the commentary via hyperlinks within a stored network of issues, alternatives, and decisions; and
  • Presentation — rendering the captured design record in a form understandable to the same or a different programmer.

This program was written by Sidney C. Bailin of Knowledge Evolution, Inc., for Kennedy Space Center.

In accordance with Public Law 96-517, the contractor has elected to retain title to this invention. Inquiries concerning rights for its commercial use should be addressed to

Sidney Bailin
Knowledge Evolution, Inc.
1050 17th St., NW
Suite 520
Washington, DC 20036
Tel. No.: (202) 467-9588 Ext. 10
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Refer to KSC-12339, volume and number of this NASA Tech Briefs issue, and the page number.