Software Engineering28-Formal Approached to SQA


In the preceding sections, we have argued that software quality is everyone's job; that it can be achieved through competent analysis, design, coding, and testing, as well as through the application of formal technical reviews, a multitiered testing strategy, better control of software work products and the changes made to them, and the application of accepted software engineering standards. In addition, quality can be defined in terms of a broad array of quality factors and measured (indirectly) using a variety of indices and metrics.

Over the past two decades, a small, but vocal, segment of the software engineering  community has argued that a more formal approach to software quality assurance is required. It can be argued that a computer program is a mathematical object . A rigorous syntax and semantics can be defined for every programming language, and work is underway to develop a similarly rigorous approach to the specification of software requirements. If the requirements model (specification) and the programming language can be represented in a rigorous manner, it should be possible to apply mathematic proof of correctness to demonstrate that a program conforms exactly to its specifications.

Attempts to prove programs correct are not new. Dijkstra  and Linger, Mills, and Witt , among others, advocated proofs of program correctness and tied these to the use of structured programming concepts .
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