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Formal Methods: From Academia to Industrial Practice. A Travel Guide

by   Marieke Huisman, et al.

For many decades, formal methods are considered to be the way forward to help the software industry to make more reliable and trustworthy software. However, despite this strong belief and many individual success stories, no real change in industrial software development seems to be occurring. In fact, the software industry itself is moving forward rapidly, and the gap between what formal methods can achieve and the daily software-development practice does not appear to be getting smaller (and might even be growing). In the past, many recommendations have already been made on how to develop formal-methods research in order to close this gap. This paper investigates why the gap nevertheless still exists and provides its own recommendations on what can be done by the formal-methods-research community to bridge it. Our recommendations do not focus on open research questions. In fact, formal-methods tools and techniques are already of high quality and can address many non-trivial problems; we do give some technical recommendations on how tools and techniques can be made more accessible. To a greater extent, we focus on the human aspect: how to achieve impact, how to change the way of thinking of the various stakeholders about this issue, and in particular, as a research community, how to alter our behaviour, and instead of competing, collaborate to address this issue.


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