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IMPRECISE PROGRAM SPECIFICATION

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000128635D
Original Publication Date: 1975-Dec-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Sep-16
Document File: 16 page(s) / 53K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Robert M. Balzer: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

This paper was originally presented at a Meeting on 20 Years of Computer Science, June 16 - 19, 1975, at Pisa, Italy, sponsored by the Instituto di Elaborazione delta Informazione under the aegis of the Consiglio Nazionale dells Ricerche. It appeared in the Proceedings of a Melting on 20 Years of Computer Science, Supplement 1 of Volume XII of the journal Gatcolo

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

IMPRECISE PROGRAM SPECIFICATION CONTENTS
Foreword v

1. Introduction l A Global View of Automatic Programming ! The Four Phases: An Overview 3 The Automatic Programming Model 3 Problem Acquisition 4 Process Transformation S Model Verification 5 Automatic Coding 6 2. The Automatic Programming Project 7 General Approach 7 Restrictions 8 Specific Approach 9 Current Status IO Plans 16

3. Imprecise Specifications 18

4. Conclusion 24

FOREWORD

This paper was originally presented at a Meeting on 20 Years of Computer Science, June 16 - 19, 1975, at Pisa, Italy, sponsored by the Instituto di Elaborazione delta Informazione under the aegis of the Consiglio Nazionale dells Ricerche. It appeared in the Proceedings of a Melting on 20 Years of Computer Science, Supplement 1 of Volume XII of the journal Gatcolo >

1. INTRODUCTION

It is well known that software is in a desperate state. It is unreliable, delivered late, unresponsive to change, inefficient, and expensive. Furthermore, since it is currently tabor-intensive, the situation will further deteriorate as demand increases and labor casts rise. Thus the industry faces one of two choices: either increase the productivity of highly trained, carefully selected specialists or reduce the training requirements through automation, thereby broadening the base of qualified users. Structured programming, built around the concept of discipline, addresses the first path, automatic programming the second. We feel that the first approach will perpetuate the current crisis as systems continue to become more complex. Only automating the process can control the enormous complexity, improve the reliability, modifiability, and efficiency, and reduce the cost. For this approach to be successful, the system must acquire and use a semantic description of a domain--a particular universe of discourse--to understand the user's statements, fill in omitted details, and maintain consistency.

A GLOBAL VIEW OF AUTOMATIC PROGRAMMING

This section presents the author's personal framework * for characterizing automatic programming systems in terms of how a task is communicated to the system, the method by and time at which the system acquires the knowledge to perform the task, and the characteristics of the resulting program.

University of Southern California Page 1 Dec 31, 1975

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IMPRECISE PROGRAM SPECIFICATION

One goal of any automatic programming system is to allow its users to state their problem and any advice about its solution in terms natural to the problem. We treat both the native terms of the field and terms from other fields which users have found useful to describe and conceptualize problems and solutions as the problem domain terms of a given field. With this definition, we conjecture that the solution of every computable problem can be represented entirely in problem domain terms as a sequence which may involve loops and conditionals of a...