Formalized structured analysis specifications

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1991
Authors
Coleman, David
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Albert L. Baker
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Computer Science

Computer Science—the theory, representation, processing, communication and use of information—is fundamentally transforming every aspect of human endeavor. The Department of Computer Science at Iowa State University advances computational and information sciences through; 1. educational and research programs within and beyond the university; 2. active engagement to help define national and international research, and 3. educational agendas, and sustained commitment to graduating leaders for academia, industry and government.

History
The Computer Science Department was officially established in 1969, with Robert Stewart serving as the founding Department Chair. Faculty were composed of joint appointments with Mathematics, Statistics, and Electrical Engineering. In 1969, the building which now houses the Computer Science department, then simply called the Computer Science building, was completed. Later it was named Atanasoff Hall. Throughout the 1980s to present, the department expanded and developed its teaching and research agendas to cover many areas of computing.

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1969-present

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Abstract

Specifications define systems. The definition of a system can be stated casually or formally. A formal specification is a mathematically precise definition of software functionality. Informal specifications are less precise definitions of software functionality. The benefits of formal specifications are clear. Arguments against the use of formal specifications have been refuted;Several formal specification techniques are available for specifying imperative programs, e.g., Z, VDM, and SPECS. Most specification techniques for distributed/concurrent systems concentrate on low level issues, e.g., deadlock and synchronization;Structured Analysis (SA) specifications are a popular informal specification technique, but they lack a rigorous mathematical semantics. SA specifications are based on a graphical syntax with little underlying formal structure. In this thesis, we identify and formalize those underlying structures that are represented informally, provide a formal definition of a SA specification, develop formal interpretations for those components of SA specifications that are subject to varying interpretation, and define an operational semantics for animating SA specifications. The resulting formalized SA specifications are mathematically precise and can be used to specify distributed/concurrent systems.

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Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 1991