Using formal specifications to support software testing
Authors: Hans-Martin Hoercher and Jan Peleska
Formal specifications become more and more important in the development
of software, especially but not only in the area of high integrity system
design. In this paper it is demonstrated, how, apart from the specification
phase, further benefits may be drawn from formal specifications for checking
the implementation against the specification. It is shown how the specification
can be used for systematically deriving test input data and for automatically
evaluating test results. The approach is illustrated using the specification
language Z. The same principles may be applied to other specification languages.
The approach allows a high degree of automation, drastically improving
productivity and quality of the testing process.
Keywords: Software testing, formal specifications,
specification language Z, safety critical systems