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Practice-oriented courses in formal methods using VDM++

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Peter Larsen, Professor John Fitzgerald, Dr Stephen RiddleORCiD


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We describe the design and delivery of two courses that aim to develop skills of use to students in their subsequent professional practice, whether or not they apply formal methods directly. Both courses emphasise skills in model construction and analysis by testing rather than formal verification. The accessibility of the formalism is enhanced by the use of established notations (VDM-SL and VDM++). Motivation is improved by using credible examples drawn from industrial projects, and by using an industrial-strength tool set. We present examples from the courses and discuss student evaluation and examination performance. We stress the need for exercises and tests to support the development of abstraction skills.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Larsen PG, Fitzgerald JS, Riddle S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Formal Aspects of Computing

Year: 2009

Volume: 21

Issue: 3

Pages: 245-257

ISSN (print): 0934-5043

ISSN (electronic): 1433-299X

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s00165-008-0068-5


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