Some Thoughts on Algebraic Specification

D. Sannella and A. Tarlecki

Abstract: This paper presents in an informal way the main ideas underlying our work on algebraic specification. The central idea, due to Goguen and Burstall, is that much work on algebraic specification can be done independently of the particular logical system (or institution) on which the specification formalism is based. We also examine the nature of specifications and specification languages, the problem of proving that a statement follows from a specification, the important notion of behavioural equivalence, and the evolution of programs from specifications by stepwise refinement. Although many of the issues discussed are motivated by technically complicated problems, in this paper the technicalities have been suppressed in an attempt to make the ideas more accessible.

LFCS report ECS-LFCS-87-21

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