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Observations of Fallibility in Applications of Modern Programming Methodologies

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2 Author(s)
Gerhart, S.L. ; Department of Computer Science, Duke University ; Yelowitz, L.

Errors, inconsistencies, or confusing points are noted in a variety of published algorithms, many of which are being used as examples in formulating or teaching principles of such modern programming methodologies as formal specification, systematic construction, and correctness proving. Common properties of these points of contention are abstracted. These properties are then used to pinpoint possible causes of the errors and to formulate general guidelines which might help to avoid further errors. The common characteristic of mathematical rigor and reasoning in these examples is noted, leading to some discussion about fallibility in mathematics, and its relationship to fallibility in these programming methodologies. The overriding goal is to cast a more realistic perspective on the methodologies, particularly with respect to older methodologies, such as testing, and to provide constructive recommendations for their improvement.

Published in:

Software Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:SE-2 ,  Issue: 3 )