Social processes, program verification and all that

A. Asperti, J.H. Geuvers, R. Natarajan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In a controversial paper (De Millo et al. 1979) at the end of the 1970's, R. A. De Millo, R. J. Lipton and A. J. Perlis argued against formal verifications of programs, mostly motivating their position by an analogy with proofs in mathematics, and, in particular, with the impracticality of a strictly formalist approach to this discipline. The recent, impressive achievements in the field of interactive theorem proving provide an interesting ground for a critical revisiting of their theses. We believe that the social nature of proof and program development is uncontroversial and ineluctable, but formal verification is not antithetical to it. Formal verification should strive not only to cope with, but to ease and enhance the collaborative, organic nature of this process, eventually helping us to master the growing complexity of scientific knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)877-896
JournalMathematical Structures in Computer Science
Volume19
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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