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Seven Myths of Formal Methods
September/October 1990 (vol. 7 no. 5)
pp. 11-19

Seven widely held conceptions about formal methods are challenged. These beliefs are variants of the following: formal methods can guarantee that software is perfect; they work by proving that the programs are correct; only highly critical systems benefit from their use; they involve complex mathematics; they increase the cost of development; they are incomprehensible to clients; and nobody uses them for real projects. The arguments are based on the author's experiences. They address the bounds of formal methods, identify the central role of specifications in the development process, and cover education and training.

Index Terms:
formal methods; highly critical systems; complex mathematics; specifications; development process; education; training; formal specification
Citation:
Anthony Hall, "Seven Myths of Formal Methods," IEEE Software, vol. 7, no. 5, pp. 11-19, Sept.-Oct. 1990, doi:10.1109/52.57887
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