Formal Methods: Past, Present, and Future

  • Jeannette M. Wing
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1538)


A formal method is a mathematically-based technique used to describe properties of hardware and software systems. It provides a framework within which large, complex systems may be specified, designed, analyzed, and verified in a systematic rather than ad hoc manner. A method is formal if it has a sound mathematical basis, typically given by a formal specification language

In my talk I will review the seeds and early development of formal methods. Citing notable case studies, I will survey the state of the art in the areas in which researchers and engineers most recently have made the greatest strides: software specification, model checking, and theorem proving. To close, I will suggest future research directions that should result in the most promising payoffs for practitioners


Complex System Early Development Formal Specification Model Check Formal Method 
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.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeannette M. Wing
    • 1
  1. 1.Computer Science DepartmentCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA

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