The University of Edinburgh -
Division of Informatics
Forrest Hill & 80 South Bridge

Research Paper #793

Title:Distributed Specification
Date:Feb 1996
Presented:Submitted to ECAI-96
Abstract:Most existing work on formal specification is focussed on a particular method or specification language, considering in isolation. In practice, few non-trivial specifications are produced by a single person, or by a group of persons with a common view of the world. It is far more common for a variety of views of a problem to coexist, each with different forms of communication. It has proved difficult to assemble such heterogeneous specifications - leading to breakdowns in communication and consequent failures of systems. As more of this communication is conducted remotely by electronic means the need to support distributed specification in a controlled way is increased. This paper presents one way of tackling this problem, based on a set of tools for describing specifications at a variety of stages in their development. By constraining the interfaces between tools, we aim to provide a more structured system for collaborative specifiation.

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