Software Engineering-Formal Methods


Software engineering methods can be categorized on a "formality" spectrum that is loosely tied to the degree of mathematical rigor applied during analysis and design. For this reason, the analysis and design methods  fall at the informal end of the spectrum. A combination of diagrams, text, tables, and simple notation is used to create analysis and design models, but little mathematical rigor has been applied.

We now consider the other end of the formality spectrum. Here, a specification and design are described using a formal syntax and semantics that specify system function and behavior. The specification is mathematical in form (e.g., predicate calculus can be used as the basis for a formal specification language). 
In his introductory discussion of formal methods, Anthony Hall states:

Formal methods are controversial. Their advocates claim that they can revolutionize [software] development. Their detractors think they are impossibly difficult. Meanwhile, for most people, formal methods are so unfamiliar that it is difficult to judge the competing claims.
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