Accession Number : ADA141079

Title :   Tools for Specification Validation and Understanding.

Descriptive Note : Final technical rept. 29 Jan 81-31 May 83,

Corporate Author : UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA MARINA DEL REY INFORMATION SCIENCES INST

Personal Author(s) : Balzer,R ; Cohen,D ; Swartout,W

PDF Url : ADA141079

Report Date : Dec 1983

Pagination or Media Count : 62

Abstract : Regardless of the specification language used, formal program specifications can be tough to understand. Yet, because a specification is frequently the means by which a customer communicates his desires to a programmer, it is critical both the customer and programmer be able to examine and comprehend the specification. Our experience with Gist, a high-level specification langauge being developed at ISI (Information Sciences Institute) has indicated that two of the major impediments to understandability are the unfamiliar syntactic constructs of the language and non-obvious interactions between parts of the specification that are often widely separated. These interactions may cause the specification to denote behaviors that were unintended by the original or not to denote behaviors that were intended. This report documents our efforts to overcome these impediments by constructing tools to make specifications moe understandable, both to specifiers and to those unfamiliar with formal specification languages.

Descriptors :   *Computer program verification, Programming languages, Specifications, User needs, Programmers, Interactions, High level languages, Comprehension, Syntax, Impedance, Symbolic programming

Subject Categories : Computer Programming and Software

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE