The Use of Mathematics in Software Development

(Extended Abstract)
  • David Lorge Parnas
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6916)


For many decades, computer science researchers have predicted that the ”Formal Methods” that they develop and advocate would bring about a drastic improvement in the quality and cost of software. That improvement has never materialized. This talk explain the difference between the methods and notations that constitute ”Formal Methods” and the mathematical methods and notation that are used successfully in other areas of Engineering. It discusses the reasons for the failure of Formal Methods to effect the desired changes in the practise of software.


Software Development Software Engineer Formal Method Mathematical Expression Formal Language 
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  1. 1.
    Liu, Z., Parnas, D.L., Trancón y Widemann, B.: Documenting and verifying systems assembled from components. Frontiers of Computer Science in China 4(2), 151–161 (2010)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Parnas, D.L.: Precise documentation: The key to better software. In: Nanz, S. (ed.) The Future of Software Engineering, pp. 125–148. Springer, Heidelberg (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Lorge Parnas
    • 1
  1. 1.Middle Road SoftwareOttawaCanada

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