BIT Numerical Mathematics

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 174–186 | Cite as

A constructive approach to the problem of program correctness

  • E. W. Dijkstra


As an alternative to methods by which the correctness of given programs can be established a posteriori, this paper proposes to control the process of program generation such as to produce a priori correct programs. An example is treated to show the form that such a control might then take. This example comes from the field of parallel programming; the way in which it is treated is representative of the way in which a whole multiprogramming system has actually been constructed.

Key words

Algorithms proof correctness 


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  1. 1.
    Robert W. Floyd,Assigning Meanings to Programs, Proceedings of Symposia in Applied Mathematics, Volume 19,Mathematical Aspects of Computer Science, pg. 19–32, American Mathematical Society, 1967.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    John McCarthy and James Painter,Correctness of a Compiler for Arithmetic Expressions, Technical Report No. CS38, April 29, 1966, Computer Science Department, Stanford University.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Peter Naur,Proof of Algorithms by General Snapshots, BIT vol. 6, 1966, pg. 310–316.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© BIT Foundations 1968

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. W. Dijkstra
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of MathematicsTechnological University EindhovenEindhovenThe Netherlands

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