Modern software development inevitably requires the design and analysis of a number of different artifacts. Formal methods allow the mathematically precise formulation of some of these artifacts. For instance, formulas in predicate logic capture operational requirements, state machines describe the behaviour of code fragments and protocols, and object models capture static designs. The advantage of using these formal notations is that they typically improve the overall quality of the artifacts by removing ambiguities and imprecisions, and enabling automatic analyses that establish desirable properties or uncover undesirable properties. Consequently, the use of formal methods is indicated in domains in which the software has to meet very high quality standards and failure cannot be tolerated such as air-traffic control. Moreover, the abstraction and automation capabilities of some formal techniques present a powerful weapon against the ever-increasing complexity of software. Indeed, in Model-Driven Development (MDD), a development methodology advocated by, for instance, the OMG and IBM, formal models of the software and its requirements form the primary artifacts from which the code is automatically generated.\
Every software engineering methodology is based on a recommended development process
* proceeding through several phases:
* Requirements, Specification, Design
* Coding, Unit Testing
* Integration and System Testing, Maintenance
Formal methods can
* Be a foundation for designing safety critical systems
* Be a foundation for describing complex systems
* Provide support for program development
Formal Specification Process Model
* Clarify requirements and high level design
* Articulate implicit assumptions
* Identify undocumented or unexpected assumptions
* Expose defects
* Identify exceptions
* Evaluate test coverage
There are four Formal Specification... [continues]
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