A two-dimensional view of integrated formal and informal specification techniques

  • R. B. France
  • M. M. Larrondo-Petrie
Method Integration
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 967)


It is often felt that the use of formal specification techniques (FSTs) precludes the use of informal, structured specification techniques (ISTs). Research on integrated FSTs and ISTs (FISTs) has shown that this is not necessarily the case, and that the use of formal techniques can enhance the use of informal specification techniques and vice versa.

In this paper we describe the applicability of FISTs to requirements engineering along two dimensions: process support, and formal-informal transformations. We illustrate aspects of these dimensions with results from student requirements engineering projects that involved the use of a Structured Analysis (SA) and Z FIST.


Formal Specification Requirement Engineering Generative Transformation Formal Notation Elaboration Phase 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    S. Auijla, A. Bryant, and L. Semmens. A rigorous review technique: Using formal notations within conventional development methods. In Software Engineering Standards Symposium, U.K. IEEE Computer Society Press, 1993.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    D. Coleman, P. Arnold, S. Bodoff, C. Dollin, H. Gilchrist, F. Hayes, and P. Jeremaes. Object-Oriented Development: The Fusion Method. Prentice Hall, 1994.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    T. DeMarco. Structured Analysis and System Specification. Prentice-Hall, 1978.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    R. Elmstrom, R. Lintulampi, and M. Pezze. Giving semantics to SA/RT by means of high-level timed Petri nets. Real-Time Systems, 5, 1993.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    R. France, T. Horton, M. Larrondo-Petrie, and S. Reeves. Process support for rigorous structured analysis. In Software Engineering Research Forum '93. SERF'93, 1993.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    R. France and M. M. Larrondo-Petrie. Understanding the role of formal specification techniques in requirements engineering. In to appear in Conference on Software Engineering Education. Springer-Verlag, 1995.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    R. B. France. Semantically Extended Data Flow Diagrams: A formal specification tool. IEEE TSE, 18(4), 1992.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    C. Gane and T. Sarson. Structured Systems Analysis: Tools and techniques. Prentice-Hall, 1978.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    D. Hatley and I. Pirbhai. Strategies for Real-Time System Specification. Dover Press, 1987.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    F. Polack. Integrating formal notations and system analysis: using entity relationship diagrams. Software Engineering Journal Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    J. Rumbaugh, M. Blaha, W. Premerlani, F. Eddy, and W. Lorensen. Object-Oriented Modeling and Design. Prentice Hall, 1991.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    L. Semmens and P. Allen. Using Yourdon and Z: An approach to formal specification. In Z User Workshop. Springer-Verlag, 1991.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    L. Semmens, R. B. France, and T. W. G. Docker. Integrated structured analysis and formal specification techniques. The Computer Journal, 35(6), 1992.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    S. Shlaer and S. J. Mellor. Object lifecycles: Modeling the world in states. Prentice Hall, 1992.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    J. M. Spivey. The Z notation: A reference manual. Prentice-Hall, 1989.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    T. H. Tse and L. Pong. Towards a formal foundation for DeMarco data flow diagrams. Technical report, Center of Computer Studies, University of Hong Kong, 1986.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    E. Yourdon. Modern Systems Analysis. Prentice-Hall, 1989.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. B. France
    • 1
  • M. M. Larrondo-Petrie
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer Science & EngineeringFlorida Atlantic UniversityBoca Raton

Personalised recommendations