Requirements Engineering

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 161–172

Experience of using a lightweight formal specification method for a commercial embedded system product line

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00766-004-0209-1

Cite this article as:
Breen, M. Requirements Eng (2005) 10: 161. doi:10.1007/s00766-004-0209-1


A simple specification method is introduced and the results of its application to a series of projects in Philips are reported. The method is principally designed to ensure that that every unusual scenario is considered in a systematic way. In practice, this has led to high-quality specifications and accelerated product development. While the straightforward tabular notation used has proved readily understandable to non-technical personnel, it is also a formal method, producing a model of system behaviour as a finite state machine. In this respect, the notation is unusual in being designed to preserve as far as possible a view of the overall system state and how this changes. The notation also features a constraint table which may be described as a kind of spreadsheet for invariants to help define the states of the system.


Lightweight formal methods Finite state machines Tabular notations Embedded systems User interface specification 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Knocknagree, Mallow, Co.CorkIreland

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