Experimental comparison of the comprehensibility of a Z specification and its implementation

(2001) Experimental comparison of the comprehensibility of a Z specification and its implementation. Empirical Assessment in Software Engineering, Keele University, 09 - 11 Apr 2001.

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Understandability is often raised as a problem with formal notations and yet practitioners using formal methods dispute this. In a survey, one interviewee said "formal specifications are no more difficult to understand than code". Measurement of comprehension is necessarily comparative and perhaps the most useful comparison for a specification is with its implementation. Practitioners have a reasonably good intuitive feel for the comprehension of code and a quantified comparison will therefore transfer this feeling to formal specifications. We performed an experiment to compare the comprehension of a Z specification with that of its implementation in Java code. The results indicate that there is little difference in comprehensibility between the two.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Additional Information: Event Dates: 9/04/01 - 11/04/01
Keywords: Empirical Assessment, Formal Methods, Z
Divisions : Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering > Electronics and Computer Science > Electronic & Software Systems
ePrint ID: 257704
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2003
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:58
Further Information:Google Scholar
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/257704

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