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Formal Specification-Based Inspection for Verification of Programs

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4 Author(s)
Shaoying Liu ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Hosei Univ., Koganei, Japan ; Yuting Chen ; Nagoya, F. ; McDermid, J.A.

Software inspection is a static analysis technique that is widely used for defect detection, but which suffers from a lack of rigor. In this paper, we address this problem by taking advantage of formal specification and analysis to support a systematic and rigorous inspection method. The aim of the method is to use inspection to determine whether every functional scenario defined in the specification is implemented correctly by a set of program paths and whether every program path of the program contributes to the implementation of some functional scenario in the specification. The method is comprised of five steps: deriving functional scenarios from the specification, deriving paths from the program, linking scenarios to paths, analyzing paths against the corresponding scenarios, and producing an inspection report, and allows for a systematic and automatic generation of a checklist for inspection. We present an example to show how the method can be used, and describe an experiment to evaluate its performance by comparing it to perspective-based reading (PBR). The result shows that our method may be more effective in detecting function-related defects than PBR but slightly less effective in detecting implementation-related defects. We also describe a prototype tool to demonstrate the supportability of the method, and draw some conclusions about our work.

Published in:

Software Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:38 ,  Issue: 5 )