[FOM] "Hidden" contradictions

Carl Hewitt hewitt at concurrency.biz
Sun Aug 25 16:25:51 EDT 2013


Formalizing inconsistencies in large software systems is serious business:
 * Facilitating computer processing
 * Facilitating developing alternative formulations
 * Facilitating analysis of argument structures of contradictions
 * Facilitating comparisons with other inconsistencies 

Not enough of the above has been done and we need to get to work! If we believe in formal methods, we can't just say there is a "bug" and wash our hands of it. 


On Aug 25, 2013, at 8:36, "Timothy Y. Chow" <tchow at alum.mit.edu> wrote:

> Carl Hewitt wrote:
>> Inconsistencies are pervasive in large software systems. Unfortunately, 
>> these inconsistencies cause "bridges to fall down" with alarming 
>> regularity.  In some cases, it has been impossible to trace back which 
>> inconsistencies caused a disaster.  See the ACM Risks Forum newsgroup 
>> moderated by Peter Neumann for an ongoing saga. Some contradictions have 
>> been discovered using subtle reasoning.
> Could you be more specific?  I skimmed the file
> http://www.csl.sri.com/users/risko/risks.txt
> but was not able to identify which "ongoing saga" in particular you were 
> referring to.
> Also, what exactly do you mean by an "inconsistency" in a large software 
> system?  I'm assuming you're not using the word "inconsistency" 
> interchangeably with the word "bug."  I'm guessing that you're using 
> "inconsistency" to refer to formal software *specifications* rather than 
> to software itself?
> Tim
> _______________________________________________
> FOM mailing list
> FOM at cs.nyu.edu
> http://www.cs.nyu.edu/mailman/listinfo/fom

More information about the FOM mailing list