Specification Methodology, Case Studies, and Experiments - An Introduction to the Subject Area of Traffic Control Systems.
In Ehrig, H. et al., Hrsg.:
Integration of Software Specification Techniques for Applications.
Bandnummer 3147 von Serie LNCS. Springer Verlag GmbH, S. 89-96, 2004.
"Specification" is a very complex concept. This complexity results initially from
the questions "What is the purpose of a specification? What is the subject of
a specification?" and "Who writes a specification?", which in turn lead to the
questions "What methods and processes are used for specification?". Answering
these questions in detail and finding a definition for the term "specification"
that encompasses the full extent and depth of this term represents an enormous
academic challenge; it is also of great practical relevance. Because even if analytical
deductions can be made from a specification that provide an understanding
in retrospect, the actual milestones of a correct and efficient specification are
in fact a goal-oriented synthesis of the subject of specification as a unit and its
proper functioning in reality.
There are two sides to a specification. On the one hand, it involves methodically
identifying all its objectives correctly and unambiguously and defining
them clearly. On the other hand, a specification is a result, a condensed version
of deliberations; it is also an independent manifestation of thoughts, methods
and a selection of variants in the form of more or less substantial documentation
and more or less formal or formalised illustrations that take the form of text or
images. A specification is thus also a touchstone and a mirror for the results it
It is impossible to carry out scientific research on the methods and definitions
of a specification without taking into account its technical field and area
of application, or the people involved in the specification process. Each technical
field has developed its own range of methods and definitions; however,
these are questioned whenever new technologies and paradigms promise better
or new solutions. From a scientific point of view, research about the migration
of specifications is very revealing in this respect. Particularly given its place in
the starting phase of a project, a specification is crucial to the remaining project