Research – Publications

work in progress (maybe)

The key question to ask for any modelling approach is “what is it good for?”, and the answer should always be in terms of the kind of analysis and reasoning it offers.     — Bashar Nuseibeh, Steve M. Easterbrook: Requirements engineering: a roadmap.
ICSE – Future of SE Track 2000: 35-46

Research interests

  • Model-driven Engineering
  • Requirements Engineering
  • Systems Engineering
  • Legal/Regulatory Requirements Compliance
  • Requirements traceability and Information Retrieval
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Variability and Product Configuration
  • Product Lines Engineering


  • Legal Markup Generation in the Large: An Experience Report (pdf)
    Nicolas Sannier, Morayo Adedjouma, Mehrdad Sabetzadeh, Lionel C. Briand, John Dann, Marc Hisette, Pascal Thill, in the 25th IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE’2017), Lisbon, Portugal, pp 302-311, 4-8 September  2017.
  • From RELAW Research to Practice: Reflections on an Ongoing Technology Transfer Project (pdf)
    Nicolas Sannier, Mehrdad Sabetzadeh and Lionel C. Briand, in the IEEE 25th International Requirements Engineering Conference Workshop (RELAW), Lisbon, Portugal, pp 204–208, September 5th, 2017.
  • An Automated Framework for Detection and Resolution of Cross References in Legal Texts(pdf)
    Nicolas Sannier, Morayo Adedjouma, Mehrdad Sabetzadeh, and Lionel Briand. , in the Requirements Engineering Journal 22(2): 215-237 (2017) (1st online Nov. 17, 2015).
  • Automated extraction of product comparison matrices from informal product descriptions (pdf)
    Sana Ben Nasr, Guillaume Bécan, Mathieu Acher, João Bosco Ferreira Filho, Nicolas Sannier, Benoit Baudry, Jean-Marc Davril, in the Journal of Systems and Software 124: 82-103 (2017).


  • Model-Based Simulation of Legal Policies: Framework, Tool Support, and Validation (pdf)
    Ghanem Soltana, Nicolas Sannier, Mehrdad Sabetzadeh, Lionel Briand, in Software & Systems Modeling (in press)
  • Automated Classification of Legal Cross References Based on Semantic Intent (pdf)
    Nicolas Sannier, Morayo Adedjouma, Mehrdad Sabetzadeh and Lionel Briand, in the 22th International Working Conference on Requirements Engineering: Foundation for Software Quality (REFSQ’2016), Gothenburg, Sweden, pp 119-134, 14-17 March  2016.


  • A Model-Based Framework for Probabilistic Simulation of Legal Policies (pdf)
    Ghanem Soltana, Nicolas Sannier, Mehrdad Sabetzadeh, and Lionel C. Briand, in the ACM/IEEE 18th International Conference on Model Driven Engineering Languages an Systems (MODELS 2015), Ottawa, Canada, to appear, September 27 – October 2, 2015
  • MatrixMiner: A Red Pill to Architect Informal Product Descriptions in the Matrix (pdf)
    Sana Ben Nasr, Guillaume Bécan, Mathieu Acher, João Bosco Ferreira_Filho, Benoit Baudry, Nicolas Sannier and Jean-Marc Davril, in the 10th Joint Meeting of the European Software Engineering Conference and the ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (ESEC/FSE 2015), Bergamo, Italy, pp 982-985, August 30 – September 4 2015
  • Assessing IT Security Standards Against the Upcoming GDPR for Cloud Systems (abstract)
    Cesare Bartolini, Gabriela Gheorghe, Andra Giurgiu, Mehrdad Sabetzadeh, and Nicolas Sannier (by Alphabetical order), in Grande Region Security and Reliability Day (GRSRD 2015), Trier, Germany, March 11th 2015


  • Automating the Formalization of Product Comparison Matrices(pdf)
    Guillaume Bécan, Nicolas Sannier, Mathieu Acher, Olivier Barais, Arnaud Blouin, and Benoit Baudry, in the 29th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Automated Software Engineering (ASE 2014), Västerås, Sweden, pp 433-444, 15-19  September 2014.
  • Moving Toward Product Line Engineering in a Nuclear Industry Consortium(pdf)
    Sana Ben Nasr, Nicolas Sannier, Mathieu Acher, and Benoit Baudry, in the 18th International Software Product Line Conference (SPLC’2014), Florence, Italy, pp 294-303, 15-19 September  2014.
  • INCREMENT: A mixed MDE-IR Approach for Regulatory Requirements Modeling and Analysis(pdf)
    Nicolas Sannier and Benoit Baudry, in the 20th International Working Conference on Requirements Engineering: Foundation for Software Quality (REFSQ’2014), Essen, Germany, pp 135-151, 7-10 April  2014.
  • Comparing or Configuring Products: Are We Getting the Right Ones?(pdf)
    Nicolas Sannier, Guillaume Bécan, Mathieu Acher, Sana Ben Nasr and Benoit Baudry, in  the 8th International Workshop on Variability Modelling of Software-intensive Systems (VAMOS’2014), Nice, France, 22-24 January  2014.


  • INCREMENT une approche hybride pour modéliser et analyser dans le large les exigences réglementaires de sûreté. (INCREMENT an Hybrid approach for modeling and analyzing regulatory safety requirements in the large) (pdf)
    Nicolas Sannier, PhD Thesis University of Rennes 1, France 2013
  • On Product Comparison Matrices and Variability Models from a Product Comparison/Configuration Perspective
    Nicolas Sannier, Guillaume Bécan, Sana Ben Nasr, and Benoit Baudry, in Journée Lignes  de Produits (JLDP’2013), Paris, France, November 29th 2013. 
  • From Comparison Matrix to Variability Model: The Wikipedia Case study (pdf)
    Nicolas Sannier, Mathieu Acher, and Benoit Baudry, in 28th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Automated Software Engineering (ASE’2013), Palo Alto, California, pp 580-585, 11 – 15 November, 2013.


  • Defining and Retrieving Themes in Nuclear Regulations (pdf)
    Nicolas Sannier, and Benoit Baudry, in 5th International Workshop on Requirements Engineering and Law (RELAW’2012), pp 33-41, Chicago, Ill., USA, 25th of September 2012.
  • Toward Multilevel Textual Requirements Traceability using Model-driven Engineering and Information Retrieval (pdf)
    Nicolas Sannier, and Benoit Baudry, in 2nd International Workshop on Model-Driven Requirements Engineering (MoDRE’2012), pp 29-38, Chicago, Ill., USA, 24th of september 2012.
  • Ingénierie dirigée par les modèles pour structurer et partager un référentiel d’exigences de sûreté dans la durée (pdf)
    Nicolas Sannier, in 4èmes Journées nationales du GRD-GPL 2012, p 203, Rennes, France, 20-22 June 2012.


  • Formalizing Standards and Regulations Variability in Longlife Projects. A Challenge for Model-driven Engineering (pdf)
    Nicolas Sannier, Benoit Baudry, and Thuy Nguyen, in 1st International Workshop  Model-Driven Requirements Engineering (MoDRE’2011), pp 64-73, Trento, Italy, 29th of august 2011.
  • Défis pour la variabilité et la traçabilité des exigences en ingénierie système (pdf)
    Nicolas Sannier, and Benoit Baudry, in INFORSID’2011, Lille, France, 24-26 may 2011.

List of publications on DBLP and Google Scholar