How to Specify It!

A Guide to Writing Properties of Pure Functions
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 12053)


Property-based testing tools test software against a specification, rather than a set of examples. This tutorial paper presents five generic approaches to writing such specifications (for purely functional code). We discuss the costs, benefits, and bug-finding power of each approach, with reference to a simple example with eight buggy variants. The lessons learned should help the reader to develop effective property-based tests in the future.



I’m grateful to the anonymous referees for many useful suggested improvements, and to Vetenskapsrådet for funding this work under the SyTeC grant.

Supplementary material


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chalmers University of Technology and Quviq ABGöteborgSweden

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