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Specification techniques for data abstractions
March 1975 (vol. 1 no. 1)
pp. 7-19
Barbara H. Liskov, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer SCience, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass
Stephen N. Zilles, IBM Corporation, San Jose, Calif
The main purposes in writing this paper are to discuss the importance of formal specifications and to survey a number of promising specification techniques. The role of formal specifications both in proofs of program correctness, and in programming methodologies leading to programs which are correct by construction, is explained. Some criteria are established for evaluating the practical potential of specification techniques. The importance of providing specifications at the right level of abstraction is discussed, and a particularly interesting class of specification techniques, those used to construct specifications of data-abstractions, is identified. A number of specification techniques for describing data abstractions are surveyed and evaluated with respect to the criteria. Finally, directions for future research are indicated.
Index Terms:
Formal specifications,Programming,Software,Computers,Writing,Testing,specification techniques,Data abstractions,programming methodology,proofs of correctness,specifications
Citation:
Barbara H. Liskov, Stephen N. Zilles, "Specification techniques for data abstractions," IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 7-19, March 1975, doi:10.1109/TSE.1975.6312816
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