Annals of Software Engineering

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 273-290

First online:

Tools for producing formal specifications: a view of current architectures and future directions

  • Sunil VaderaAffiliated withDepartment of Computer and Mathematical Sciences, University of Salford
  • , Farid MezianeAffiliated withnstitute of Software Technology, UNIMAS

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During the last decade, one important contribution towards requirements engineering has been the advent of formal specification languages. They offer a well‐defined notation that can improve consistency and avoid ambiguity in specifications. However, the process of obtaining formal specifications that are consistent with the requirements is itself a difficult activity. Hence, various researchers are developing systems that aid the transition from informal to formal specifications. The kind of problems tackled and the contributions made by these proposed systems are very diverse. This paper brings these studies together to provide a vision for future architectures that aim to aid the transition from informal to formal specifications. The new architecture, which is based on the strengths of existing studies, tackles a number of key issues in requirements engineering such as identifying ambiguities, incompleteness, and reusability. The paper concludes with a discussion of the research problems that need to be addressed in order to realise the proposed architecture.