Formal Specification, Interface Specification & Behavior Specification in Software Process

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formal and behavior specificationFormal Specification, Interface Specification and Behavior Specification,
Software Engineering Notes | Sixth Semester,
BSc.CSIT | Tribhuvan University (TU)

Formal Specification
The system requirement and system designs are expressed in details and carefully analyzed and checked before implementation begins. A formal specification of software is developed after the system requirement have been specified but before the detailed system designed. The main benefit of formal specification is its ability to uncover problems and ambiguities in the requirements. Creating a formal specification force to make a detailed system analysis that usually removes errors and inconsistencies in the requirement specification. Two fundamental approaches for formal specification have been used to write detail specification for software system.

  • Algebraic Approach:
    In algebraic approach system is described in terms of operation and their relationship.
  • Model Based Approach:
    In model based approach the system is built using mathematical construct such as sets and sequence and the system operation are defined by how they modify the system state.

Interface Specification
Large systems are usually decomposed into subsystems that are developed independently. Subsystem make use of other subsystem, so an essential part of specification is to define subsystem. Once the interface are agreed and defined, the subsystem can then be designed and implemented independently. Subsystem interface are often defined as a set of object or components. These describe the data and operation that can be accessed by the subsystem interface. The process of developing a formal specification of a subsystem interface includes the following activities:

  • Specification Structure:
    Organize the formal interface specification into set of abstract data type or object class. We should define the operation associated with each class.
  • Specification Name:
    Establish a name for each abstract type specification. Decide whether they require generic parameters and decide name for each object identifies.
  • Operation Selection
    Choose a set of operation based on identified interface functionality. We may have to add functions to initially identified definition.
  • Informal Operation Specification:
    Write an informal specification of each operation.
  • Syntax Definition:
    Define the syntax of operations and the parameter to each.
  • Semantic Definition:
    Define the semantics of the operation by describing what condition is usually true for different operation combination.

Behavior Specification:
The simple algebraic technique can be used to describe interfaces where the object state changing depending on the previous operation result. Where this condition holds we say it the behavior properties of system .the specification which is used to specify such type of system property is called behavioral specification. As their size of system is increased, the description of system behavior becomes increasingly difficult to understand.

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