Is There Evolution Before Birth? Deterioration Effects of Formal Z Specifications

  • Andreas Bollin
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6991)


Formal specifications are not an exception for aging. Furthermore, they stay valid resources only in the case when they have been kept up to date during all evolutionary changes taking place. As specifications are then not just written once, an interesting aspect is whether they do also deteriorate or not. In order to answer this question, this paper addresses the issues on various kinds of changes in the development of formal specifications and how they could be measured. For this, a set of semantic-based measures is introduced and then used in a longitudinal study, assessing the specification of the Web-Service Definition Language. By analyzing all 139 different revisions of it, it is shown that specifications can deteriorate and that it takes effort to keep them constantly at high quality. The results yield in a refined model of software evolution exemplifying these recurring changes.


Formal Method Software Metrics Cohesion Measure Deterioration Effect Change Request 
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.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreas Bollin
    • 1
  1. 1.Software Engineering and Soft ComputingAAU KlagenfurtAustria

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