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      Checking Formal Specifications by Testing

      3rd Irish Workshop on Formal Methods (IWFM)

      Formal Methods

      1st - 2nd July 1999

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          Formal specification methods hold promise for bridging the wide gap between an intuitive idea for solving a problem by computer, and the executable program that attempts to do the job. The use of formalism is itself a good thing, allowing professionals to understand and analyze their work better. However, formal methods are an aid to human effort, not a panacea. Conventional software testing can be an ideal complement to formally directed development. Tests are concrete and immediately comprehensible to end users, and they are unlikely to miss mistakes because of a pernicious correlation with the formal work.

          Research is needed on ways to make formal specifications and testing work together to realize the potential of both. Tests should serve to increase confidence that a formal method has been correctly applied. Such tests would free the developers from tedious checking of formalism details, and the success of only a few tests would have real significance for the software’s correctness.

          As an example of a formalism/testing partnership, this talk describes joint work with Sergio Antoy [4] on automatically checking a conventional implementation of an abstract data type against its formal algebraic specification.

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          Most cited references 13

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          Proof of correctness of data representations

           C. Hoare (1972)
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            Confluent Reductions: Abstract Properties and Applications to Term Rewriting Systems: Abstract Properties and Applications to Term Rewriting Systems

             Gérard Huet (1980)
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              An experimental evaluation of the assumption of independence in multiversion programming


                Author and article information

                July 1999
                July 1999
                : 1-11
                Fulbright Scholar

                Department of Mathematics

                National University of Ireland, Galway

                Invited talk, July 2, 1999
                © Dick Hamlet. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. 3rd Irish Workshop on Formal Methods

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

                3rd Irish Workshop on Formal Methods
                Galway, Ireland
                1st - 2nd July 1999
                Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
                Formal Methods
                Product Information: 1477-9358BCS Learning & Development
                Self URI (journal page): https://ewic.bcs.org/
                Electronic Workshops in Computing


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