Deductive program verification (a practitioner's commentary)

Minds and Machines 2 (3):283-307 (1992)
Abstract
A proof of ‘correctness’ for a mathematical algorithm cannot be relevant to executions of a program based on that algorithm because both the algorithm and the proof are based on assumptions that do not hold for computations carried out by real-world computers. Thus, proving the ‘correctness’ of an algorithm cannot establish the trustworthiness of programs based on that algorithm. Despite the (deceptive) sameness of the notations used to represent them, the transformation of an algorithm into an executable program is a wrenching metamorphosis that changes a mathematical abstraction into a prescription for concrete actions to be taken by real computers. Therefore, it is verification of program executions (processes) that is needed, not of program texts that are merely the scripts for those processes. In this view, verification is the empirical investigation of: (a) the behavior that programs invoke in a computer system and (b) the larger context in which that behavior occurs. Here, deduction can play no more, and no less, a role than it does in the empirical sciences.
Keywords Algorithms  computers  computer programs  program executions (processes)  program verification (‘correctness’ proofs, testing)  representations (objects)  software reliability
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,007
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
James H. Fetzer (1988). Program Verification: The Very Idea. Communications of the Acm 31 (9):1048--1063.
Brian Cantwell Smith (1985). The Limits of Correctness. Acm Sigcas Computers and Society 14 (1):18-26.
Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

8 ( #170,126 of 1,101,181 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #177,383 of 1,101,181 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.