When Abstraction Fails - CC 2005
by Andreas Zeller

Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Compiler Construction (CC 2005), Pages 1-9, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 3443, Springer, April 2005.

ISBN: 3540254110

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More information is available at http://www.st.cs.uni-saarland.de/dd/.


Reasoning about programs is mostly deduction: the reasoning from the abstract model to the concrete run. Deduction is useful because it allows us to predict properties of future runs-up to the point that a program will never fail its specification. However, even such a 100% correct program may still show a problem: the specification itself may be problematic, or deduction required us to abstract away some relevant property. To handle such problems, deduction is not the right answer-especially in a world where programs reach a complexity that makes them indistinguishable from natural phenomena. Instead, we should enrich our portfolio by methods proven in natural sciences, such as observation, induction, and in particular experimentation. In my talk, I will show how systematic experimentation automatically reveals the causes of program failures-in the input, in the program state, or in the program code.

BibTeX Entry

    title = "When Abstraction Fails",
    author = "Andreas Zeller",
    year = "2005",
    month = apr,
    booktitle = "Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Compiler Construction (CC 2005)",
    location = "Edinburgh, UK",
    pages = "1--9",
    publisher = "Springer",
    series = "Lecture Notes in Computer Science",
    volume = "3443",
    ISBN = "3540254110",

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