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The correctness-by-construction approach to programming by Derrick G. Kourie, Bruce W. Watson

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By Derrick G. Kourie, Bruce W. Watson

The concentration of this ebook is on bridging the distance among severe tools for constructing software program. at the one hand, there are texts and methods which are so formal that they scare off all however the such a lot committed theoretical computing device scientists. at the different, there are a few who think that any degree of ritual is a waste of time, leading to software program that's constructed by way of following intestine emotions and intuitions.

Kourie and Watson suggest an process referred to as “correctness-by-construction,” a strategy to derive algorithms that depends on formal concept, yet that calls for such concept to be deployed in a really systematic and pragmatic approach. First they supply the main theoretical heritage (like first-order predicate common sense or refinement legislation) that's had to comprehend and practice the strategy. They then aspect a sequence of graded examples starting from binary seek to lattice hide graph building and finite automata minimization in an effort to convey the way it might be utilized to more and more advanced algorithmic difficulties.

The vital objective of this ebook is to alter the way in which software program builders strategy their job at programming-in-the-small point, to be able to enhancing code caliber. therefore it coheres with either the IEEE’s advisor to the software program Engineering physique of information (SWEBOK) techniques, which identifies issues lined during this publication as a part of the software program engineer’s arsenal of instruments and techniques, and with the pursuits of the software program Engineering procedure and conception (SEMAT) initiative, which goals to “refound software program engineering in response to a superb theory.”

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Extra resources for The correctness-by-construction approach to programming

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1. 2. 3. 4. 1 Case 1: For What Values of S Does ftrueg S ftrueg Hold? In this case, the answer certainly includes S D skip, since we have just seen that fQg skip fQg holds for all values of Q, and thus specifically for Q D true. The questions is, does ftrueg S ftrueg hold for any other instances of S ? e. ftrueg S ftrueg is actually just an abbreviated way of asserting the following predicate: If the computer is in a state belonging to the set Statestrue just before S executes, then S will terminate and the computer will end up in a state belonging to the set Statestrue .

It seems, therefore, that the predicate ftrueg S ftrueg is only rendered false by programs which loop forever when started in some state. Note carefully that S is not required to loop forever when started from every state. If there is only one state from which to launch S which will cause it to loop forever, then ftrueg S ftrueg must be judged to be false. The overall conclusion therefore is as follows. ftrueg S ftrueg is true for any S that always terminates, no matter from which state it is started.

If one needs to implement the max example specified above, (say in Java) a particular choice of a condition has to be made, and particular assignment statements have to be used, both in the context of an if-else command. But it need not be the case that non-determinism represents alternative paths to the same outcome, as was the case in this max example. Sometimes, a nondeterministic GCL specification can be used to specify conditions under which random outcomes occur. Although GCL will not be used in this fashion here, for completeness the following artificial example is provided to illustrate the idea.

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