Correctness by Construction: Better Can Also Be Cheaper. Peter Amey, Praxis Critical Systems. CrossTalk Magazine, March 2002
For safety and mission critical systems, verification and validation activities frequently dominate development costs, accounting for as much as 80 percent in some cases. There is now compelling evidence that development methods that focus on bug
prevention rather than bug detection can both raise quality and save time and money. A recent, large avionics project report
ed a fourfold productivity and 10-fold quality improvement by adopting such methods. A key ingredient of correctness
by construction is the use of unambiguous programming languages that allow rigorous analysis very early in the development
The main focus of the paper is the SPARK Ada toolset, but the paper raises issues that are of general interest. The key notion is that of
the benefit of a precise language or language subset. This is important since it allows for tool support.
The paper discusses the building of the avionics of the Lockheed C130J (the Hercules II Airlifter), and the costs of achieving level A DO-178B certification (the DO-178B being the prevalent standard against which avionics software is certified).
Posted to Software-Eng by Ehud Lamm on 3/12/02; 10:44:48 AM