Specification of Software Systems
V.S. Alagar and K. Periyasamy


Graduate Texts in Computer Science
Springer-Verlag, 1998
ISBN: 0-387-98430-5

This graduate-level text provides an introduction to software specification emphasizing formal methods that are relevant to requirements and design stages of software development. The book can also be used as a text for a one-semester course on formal methods at the senior undergraduate level. Readers are assumed to have a working knowledge of software engineering and basic discrete mathematics, but otherwise this may be their first encounter with formal specification. It is based on graduate courses and courses offered to professionals working in the software industry. The authors emphasize the need for formal abstraction in specification and the advantages it confers on the software process. In addition, the book covers three major specification languages: Larch, VDM and Z in some depth. Consequently, readers will be able to select a formal method that best suits their needs and application.

The first part of the book discusses specification in general and the abstraction process. Next comes chapters on the mathematical required. Third, the authors develop a chapter each to the three major specification languages, with a number of examples and a case study to illustrate the expressive power of each language.