Formal Methods, the Very Idea, Some Thoughts

Daniel M. Berry

Cheriton School of Computer Science
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, ON, Canada


The talk defines formal methods (FMs) and describes economic issues involved in their application. From these considerations and the concepts implicit in ``No Silver Bullet'', it becomes clear that FMs are best applied during requirements engineering. A theory of why formal methods work when they work is offered and it is suggested that FMs help the most when the applier is most ignorant about the problem domain.

The talk should be controversial and fun!