|Delivery Type||Delivery length / details|
|Other||Workshops: 4 x 1 hour|
|Assessment Type||Assessment length / details||Proportion|
|Semester Assessment||Two pieces of assessed coursework||20%|
|Semester Exam||2 Hours Written Examination||80%|
|Supplementary Exam||2 Hours Written Examination||100%|
On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
1. have a critical appreciation of the problems of incompleteness, inconsistency and ambiguity arising from traditional methods of software specification, and of how formal methods overcome these problems;
2. be able to differentiate between algebraic and operational approaches to formal specification, and be aware of some of the methods used in industry
3. explain the nature of formal proof in the prepositional and predicate logics and have a critical appreciation of the need for the 3 valued logic of partial functions
4. be able to develop a software design using VDM;
5. have a critical appreciation of the deficiencies of VDM and the attempts to overcome these in some other formal specification methods;
The module introduces students to the use of mathematically formal methods for the specification of software. As background to the formal methods in software engineering, students are introduced to formal logic.
Problems of incompleteness, inconsistency and ambiguity. Practical problems (volume of paperwork, etc.).
2. Formal Specifications - 5 Lectures, 1 workshop
The advantages and disadvantages of formal specification. Algebraic and operational specifications. Formal logic and formal proof used in specification.
3. VDM as a Specification Language - 4 Lectures, 1 workshop
Introduction and history. The VDM specification language. Data types in VDM. An example specification.
4. The Logic of Partial Functions - 1 Lecture
Proof in the three valued logic of partial functions. Differences from the traditional two valued logic. Applications to formal methods, in particular VDM.
5. VDM as a Formal Development Method - 4 Lectures
Stages and processes in the development of a software design using VDM. Data reification and operation decomposition.
6. Correctness Proofs - 4 Lectures, 1 workshop
Programming proof rules and their application in the specification of computer systems.
7. Outstanding Problems and Other Methods - 3 Lectures
Formal specification of systems with concurrency. Modularisation of formal specifications. Safety and reliability issues. Other specification languages, Z and SPARK.
|Skills Type||Skills details|
|Application of Number||No! The mathematics involved here is far more abstract and advanced than the mere ability to count!|
|Communication||The assessed coursework requires students to communicate their research findings.|
|Improving own Learning and Performance||The assessed coursework requires students to develop their understanding of issues associated with the module.|
|Information Technology||This is a Software Engineering module!|
|Personal Development and Career planning||The issues involved in this module could have a significant impact on the career of a Software Engineer.|
|Problem solving||The mathematical logic included in this module involves some problem solving, and this is assessed in the written examination.|
|Research skills||The assessed coursework requires students to research issues associated with the module.|
|Subject Specific Skills||The module develops and assesses some advanced issues in Software Engineering.|
Reading ListRecommended Text
C.B. Jones (1990) Systematic Software Development Using VDM. 2nd International Series in Computer Science Prentice-Hall Primo search R.D. Dowsing, V.J. Rayward-Smith, and C.D. Walter (1986) A First Course in Formal Logic and its Application in Computer Science. Computer Science Texts, Blackwell Scientific Publications Primo search Consult For Futher Information
J G P Barnes (2003) High Integrity Software: The SPARK Approach to Safety and Security Addison-Wesley Primo search J. Woodcock and M. Loomes (1988) Software Engineering Mathematics Pitman Primo search J.M. Spivey The Z Notation: A Reference Manual. 2nd. International Series in Computer Science Prentice-Hall Primo search
This module is at CQFW Level 6