Dipartimento di Informatica e Scienze dell'Informazione
Institutions for Very Abstract Specifications
M. Cerioli and G. Reggio .
In Recent Trends in Data Type Specification, number 785 in
Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 113--127, Berlin, 1993. Springer
This paper is a first attempt at the definition of a set of operations on
specification frameworks, supporting the modular construction of formal
software specification methodologies.
Since obviously a formalism providing tools to deal with all
possible software specification features, if any, would be a monster
and would become out of date in a short time, in our opinion the first step,
in order to produce formal specifications, is to get a framework including
all the features needed by the particular problem under examination, but as
simple as possible.
Following an obvious reuse principle, the best way to get such
a framework is to assemble pieces of formalisms, studied once and forever,
or to tune an available formalism, adding only the local features.
In this paper, following the well-established approach by Goguen and Burstall,
specification frameworks are formalized as institutions; thus enrichments and
assembling of formalisms become, in this setting, operations among institutions.
The compressed postscript version of this paper is available through anonymous ftp
at ftp.disi.unige.it, in