Ten years ago, Annie Antón and her students Travis Breaux and Matthew Vail co-authored a paper, "Towards Regulatory Compliance: Extracting Rights and Obligations to Align Requirements with Regulations," that was recently honored with an honorable mention award for the Most Influential Paper Award at the 24th IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE), held in September in Beijing.
The award recognizes the most significant research contributions to the RE community of the last 10 years. Martin Glinz, program chair of the RE conference in 2006 when Antón’s work was initially presented, noted that the paper spawned the sub-field of studying requirements in the context of legal/regulatory compliance.
The groundbreaking paper included steps for composing correct legal interpretations of requirements from laws, practical methods for distinguishing mandatory from discretionary requirements, and techniques for discovering implied rights and obligations. These steps were subsequently applied to discover more than 300 privacy requirements governing U.S. health care systems, including complex exceptions to those requirements. The papers methods have also been built into federal agency systems.
Since the paper was published in 2006, when the authors were all at North Carolina State University's Department of Computer Science, Antón’s research in RE has included analysis of security and privacy policies, regulations, and compliance practices. Co-author Breaux is now an associate professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, and Vail is an engineering manager at Google.
Today, along with her research and role as chair of the School of Interactive Computing, Antón engages in public service, including as a member of President Barack Obama's Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity in February 2016.