Formal methods reality check: Industrial usage

  • Dan Craigen
  • Susan Gerhart
  • Ted Ralston
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 670)


Based on a systematic survey and analysis of the use of formal methods in the development of a dozen industrial applications, we summarize the methods being used, characterize the styles of industrial usage, and provide recommendations for evolutionary enhancements to the technology base of formal methods.

The industrial applications ranged from reverse engineering to system certification; code scale ranges from 1 KLOC to 10 KLOCs. Applications included a software infrastructure for oscilloscopes; a shutdown system for a nuclear generating station; a train protection system; an airline collision avoidance system; an engine monitoring system for shipboard engines; attitude control of satellites; security properties of both a smartcard device and a network; arithmetic units; transaction processing; a real-time database for a medical instrument; and a restructuring program for COBOL.


Formal Method Regulatory Cluster Proof Obligation Automate Deduction Software Infrastructure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  1. 1.
    Dan Craigen, Susan Gerhart, Ted Ralston: An International Survey of Industrial Applications of Formal Methods. Reports to be published by NIST, NRL, and AECB, 1993.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Susan Gerhart, Dan Craigen, Ted Ralston: Observations on Industrial Practice Using Formal Methods. In Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Software Engineering, Baltimore, Maryland, (May 1993).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Dan Craigen, Susan Gerhart, Ted Ralston: Comments on the Industrial Usage of Z. In Proceedings of the 7th Z User Meeting, London, England, (December 1992).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dan Craigen
    • 1
  • Susan Gerhart
    • 2
  • Ted Ralston
    • 3
  1. 1.ORACanada
  2. 2.National Science FoundationCanada
  3. 3.Ralston Research AssociatesCanada

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