This Article 
 Bibliographic References 
 Add to: 
Inconsistency Handling in Multiperspective Specifications
August 1994 (vol. 20 no. 8)
pp. 569-578

The development of most large and complex systems necessarily involves many people-each with their own perspectives on the system defined by their knowledge, responsibilities, and commitments. To address this we have advocated distributed development of specifications from multiple perspectives. However, this leads to problems of identifying and handling inconsistencies between such perspectives. Maintaining absolute consistency is not always possible. Often this is not even desirable since this can unnecessarily constrain the development process, and can lead to the loss of important information. Indeed since the real-world forces us to work with inconsistencies, we should formalize some of the usually informal or extra-logical ways of responding to them. This is not necessarily done by eradicating inconsistencies but rather by supplying logical rules specifying how we should act on them. To achieve this, we combine two lines of existing research: the ViewPoints framework for perspective development, interaction and organization, and a logic-based approach to inconsistency handling. This paper presents our technique for inconsistency handling in the ViewPoints framework by using simple examples.

[1] A. R. Anderson and N. D. Belnap,The Logic of Entailment, Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press, 1976.
[2] R. Balzer, "Tolerating inconsistency,"Proc. 13th Int. Conf. Software Eng. (ICSE-13), 1991, pp. 158-165.
[3] H. Barringer, M. Fisher, D. Gabbay, G. Gough, and R. Owens, "Metatem: A framework for programming in temporal logic," inProc. REX Workshop Stepwise Refinement of Distributed Systems: Models, Formalisms, Correctness, May 19-June 2, 1989. Mook, The Netherlands: Springer-Verlag, 1990.
[4] H. Barringer, M. Fischer, D. Gabbay, and A. Hunter, "Meta-reasoning in executable temporal logic," inProc. 2nd Int. Conf. Princ. of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning, San Francisco, CA: Morgan Kaufmann, 1991, pp. 40-49.
[5] J. Bell, "Non-Monotonic reasoning, non-monotonic logics, and reasoning about change,"Artificial Intell. Rev., vol. 4, pp. 79-108, 1990.
[6] H. A. Blair and V. S. Subrahmanian, "Paraconsistent logic programming,"Theoret. Comput. Sci., vol. 68, no. 1, pp. 135-154, 1989. Preliminary version appeared inLecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 287, 1987, pp. 340-360.
[7] N. D. da Costa, "On the theory of inconsistent formal systems,"Notre Dame J. Formal Logic, vol. 15, pp. 497-510, 1974.
[8] J. Doyle, "A truth maintenance system,"Artificial Intell., vol. 12, pp. 231-272, 1979.
[9] M. Finger, P. McBrien, and R. Owens, "Databases and executable temporal logic," inProc. ESPRIT Conf., CEC, 1991.
[10] A. Finkelstein, M. Goedicke, and J. Kramer "ViewPoint oriented software development," inProc. 3rd Int. Workshop on Software Eng. and Its Applicat., Toulouse, France, Cigref EC2, Dec. 1990, pp. 337-351.
[11] A. Finkelstein, J. Kramer, and M. Hales, "Process modelling: A critical analysis,"Integrated Software Engineering with Reuse: Management and Techniques, P. Walton and N. Maiden, Eds. London: Chapman&Hall, and UNICOM, UK, 1992, pp. 137-148.
[12] A. Finkelstein, J. Kramer, and B. Nuseibeh, Eds.,Software Process Modelling and Technology, Advanced Software Development Series, Somerest, England, UK: Research Studies Press (Wiley), 1994.
[13] A. Finkelstein, J. Kramer, B. Nuseibeh, L. Finkelstein, and M. Goedicke, "Viewpoints: A framework for integrating multiple perspectives in system development,"International Journal of Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering, Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Co., vol. 2, no. 1, Mar., 1992, pp. 31-58.
[14] D. Gabbay, "Declarative past and imperative future: Executable temporal logic for interactive systems," inProc. Colloquium Temporal Logic in Specification, B. Banieqbal, H. Barringer, and A. Pnueli, Eds., Altrincham, 1987, pp. 402-450, Springer-Verlag, LNCS vol. 398, 1989.
[15] D. Gabbay and A. Hunter, "Making inconsistency respectable: A logical framework for inconsistency in reasoning, Part I--A position paper,"Proc. Fundamentals of Art. Intell. Res. '91, 1991, pp. 19-32.
[16] D. Gabbay and A. Hunter, "Making inconsistency respectable: A logical framework for inconsistency in reasoning: Part 2,"Symbolic and Quantitative Approaches to Reasoning and Uncertainty, New York: Springer-Verlag, LNCS, 1992, pp. 129-136.
[17] D. Gabbay and H. Ohlbach, "Quantifier elimination in second order predicate logic," inProc. 3rd. Int. Conf. Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning, San Francisco, CA: Morgan Kaufmann, 1992, pp. 35-43.
[18] P. Graubmann, "The HyperView tool standard methods," REX Technical Report REX-WP3-SIE-021-V1.0, Siemens, Germany, Jan. 1992.
[19] B. Hailpern, "Special issue on multiparadigm languages,"Software, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 6-77, Jan., 1986, IEEE Computer Society Press.
[20] J. Kramer, "CASE support for the software process: A research viewpoint," inProc. of 3rd European software Eng., Conf. (ESEC 93), Milan, Italy, New York: Springer-Verlag, LNCS 550, pp. 499-503, Oct. 1991.
[21] J. Kramer, "A configurable framework for method and tool integration,"Proc. European Symp. Software Dev. Environments and CASE Technol., 1991, pp. 233-257.
[22] J. Krogstie et al., "Information Systems Development Using a Combination of Process and Rule Based Approaches,"Proc. Third Int'l Conf. CAiSE, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1991, pp. 319-335.
[23] S. Meyers and S. P. Reiss, "A system for multiparadigm development of software systems," inProc. Sixth Int. Workshop on Software Specification and Design, Oct. 1991. (Also available as Brown University Computer Science DepartmentTechnical Report CS-91-50, Aug. 1991.)
[24] G. Mullery, "Acquisition: Environment," in M. Paul and H. Siegert, Eds.,Distributed Systems: Methods and Tools for Specification, New York: Springer-Verlag, 1985.
[25] K. Narayanaswamy and N. Goldman "Lazy" consistency: A basis for cooperative software development," inProc. of Int. Conf. Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW '92), Toronto, ON, Canada, 31 Oct.-4 Nov., pp. 257-264, ACM SIGCHI&SIGOIS 1992.
[26] B. Nuseibeh and A. Finkelstein, "ViewPoints: A vehicle for method and tool integration,"Proc. 5th Int. Workshop on Comput.-Aided Software Eng. (CASE '92), 1992, pp. 50-60.
[27] B. Nuseibeh, A. Finkelstein, and J. Kramer, "Fine-grain process modelling,"Proc. 7th Int. Workshop on Software Specification and Design (IWSSD-7), 1993, pp. 42-46.
[28] B. Nuseibeh, A. Finkelstein, and J. Kramer, "Method engineering for multi-perspective software development,"Informatiom and Software Technology (forthcoming), Oxford, England: Buterworth Heinemann. (to be published).
[29] B. Nuseibeh, J. Kramer, and A. Finkelstein, "Expressing the relationships between multiple views in requirements specification," inProc. 15th Int. Conf. Software Eng., (ICSE-15), Baltimore, MD., May 17-21, 1993, IEEE Computer Society Press, 1993, pp. 187-200.
[30] T. Pequendo and A. Buschbaum, "The logic of epistemic inconsistency," inProc. 2nd Int. Conf. Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning, San Francisco, CA: Morgan Kaufmann, 1991, pp. 453-460.
[31] J. N. Pocock, "VSF and its Relationship to open systems and standard repositories," inProc. of European Symp. Software Devel. Envir. and CASE Technology, Königswinter, Germany, New York: Springer-Verlag, LNCS 509, June 1991, pp. 53-68.
[32] R. Reiter, "On closed world databases,"Logic&Databases, H. Gallaire and J. Minker Eds. New York: Plenum Press, 1978.
[33] F. Sadri and R. Kowalski, "An application of general theorem proving to database integrity," Tech. Rep., Dept. of Computing, Imperial College, London, UK, 1986.
[34] R. W. Schwanke and G. E. Kaiser, "Living with inconsistency in large Systems," inProc. Int. Workshop on Software Version and Configuration Control, Grassau, Germany, Jan. 27-29, 1988, Stullgart: B. G. Teubner, 1988, pp. 98-118.
[35] G. Wagner, "Ex contradictione nihil sequitor," inProc. of 12th Int. Joint Conf. Artificial Intell., San Francisco, CA: Morgan Kaufmann, 1991.
[36] A. I. Wasserman, "Tool integration in software engineering environments," inProc. Int. Workshop on Environments, Sept. 1989, pp. 137-149 (also inLecture Notes in Computer Science 467).
[37] A. I. Wasserman and P. A. Pircher,Proc. ACM SIGSOFT/SIGPLAN Symp. Practical Software Development Environments, Palo Alto, CA, Dec. 1986, pp. 131-142; see alsoSIGPLAN Notices, vol. 22, Jan. 1987.
[38] D. S. Wile, "Integrating syntaxes and their associated semantics," Tech. Rep. RR-92-297, 1992, USC/Inform. Sci. Inst. Univ. of Southern California, Marina del Rey, CA, 1992.
[39] J.C. Wileden et al., "Specification-Level Interoperability,"Comm. ACM, May 1991, pp. 72-87.
[40] P. Zave and M. Jackson, "Conjunction as composition,"ACM Trans. Software Eng. Methodology, vol. 2, pp. 379-411, Oct. 1993.

Index Terms:
formal specification; data integrity; temporal logic; distributed processing; multiperspective specifications; inconsistency handling; complex systems; distributed development; specifications; development; logical rules; ViewPoints; multiple perspectives; specification; process modeling; first order predicate logic; temporal logic
A.C.W. Finkelstein, D. Gabbay, A. Hunter, J. Kramer, B. Nuseibeh, "Inconsistency Handling in Multiperspective Specifications," IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 20, no. 8, pp. 569-578, Aug. 1994, doi:10.1109/32.310667
Usage of this product signifies your acceptance of the Terms of Use.