FAQ on Formal Methods in Industry

From Evidence on Formal Methods Uses and Impact on Industry
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General Information on FM (G)

This section provides some general background introductory questions introducing what are formal methods (FM), with what kind of issue can they handled elegantly, what are the risks, why is their use still quite targeted ?

Understanding Impact on the System Development Process

Introducing formal methods in an organisation is a big challenge. The gain vs impact balance can widely vary depending on the deployment strategy in term of scope (specific lifecycle steps or more vertical), the kind of interconnection with artefacts and way it is "packaged" within the domain development culture. To detail those impacts, we examine the following sub-categories:

Quality Improvement (QI)

The impact of formal methods on the quality of work products developed at various stages of the development life cycle, on the quality of the final product delivered to customers, and on the productivity at various stages of the development life cycle

Exploiting Models (EM)

The capability to exploit formal models at various stages (and in various process areas) of the development life cycle.

Control Impact of Formalism (CIF)

The capability to phase the learning of a formal method in an organisation and eventually to limit the scope of who must understand and become experts in selected formal methods

Migration to a Formalism (MF)

The capability to phase the migration to using a formal method (given the existence of products and work products not initially developed using formal methods)

Reuse across development projects (R)

The capability to develop systematic reuse strategies and to reuse artefacts across development projects when using formal methods. (This also includes for example, reuse of strategies for proving behaviour correctness)

Training Scope and Resourcing (TSP)

Introducing formal methods means having to train This section deals with the impact on an organisation with regards to training scope and resourcing

Known Strengths and Weaknesses of Tools and Tool Providers (TOOL)

The known strengths and weaknesses of tools associated to a formal method as well as the quality of support by tool providers

External Factor Pushing for Formal Method Adoption (ExFac)

The external factors (from competition, standard bodies, laws) pushing take-up of formal methods

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