Formal Methods: My 50 Years of Work. An Informal, Audience-interaction Talk


It all began at the IBM Lab. in Vienna, 1973–1975. I will reminisce of how VDM, the Vienna Development Method, emerged.
We were to develop a compiler for PL/I. In Feb. 1974 IBM HQ curtailed this and related projects. So three of the co-developers of VDM went abroad. Peter Lucas to the US, Cliff Jones via Brussels back to the UK, and I to Denmark. With students and later, at Dansk Datamatik Center (DDC), we then developed compilers for CHILL and Ada according to the IBM Lab. Vienna ideas.

I will survey those developments. They led to the design of the RAISE (Rigorous Approach to Industrial SE) Method — with RSL (the Raise Specification Language).
As UN Director of the UN University’s Intl. Inst. for Software Technology, in Macau, 1991–1997, we pursued Formal Methods and their theoretical underpinnings, and applied Formal Methods to the development of systems for railways (in China), finance ministry (Vietnam), country wide telephone system (The Philippines), multi-script documents, etc.

I will survey these projects — emphasizing how Domain Modeling emerged.

I will then outline recent work, since my retirement, at 70 in 2007, in Domain Science & Engineering.
All this should take 30 mins.
 I will end the talk by engaging the audience in a discussion of open problem issues: “big holes” in what Formal Methods can today be applied to; industry uptake; etc.

Short Bio:

Born: 4 October 1937

  MScEE: 1962, PhD: 1969, DrTechn: 2021 (!)

  IBM 1962–1975
    Nordic Labs., Sweden 1962-1969
    SDD Labs., San Jose, CA, USA, 1963-1965
    ACS Labs., Menlo Park, CA, USA, 1969
    Research, San Jose, CA, USA, 1979-1973
    Vienna Lab, Austria, 1973-1975

  Guest Prof., 1973
    Univ.of Calif., Berkeley, 1971-1972  
    Copenhagen Univ., 1975-1976
    Kiel Univ., Germany, 1980
    Natl. Univ. of Singapore, 2004-2005, 2014, 2017, …
    JAIST, Kanazawa, Japan, 2006
    Univ. Henri Poincare, Nancy, France, 2007
    Univ.Saarbruecken, Germany, 2008
    Techn.Univ.Graz, Austria, 2008
    Edinburgh Univ., Scotland, 2009
    Tokyo Univ., Japan, 2009
    Techn.Univ.Vienna, Austria, 2010, 2015
    TongJi Univ., Shanghai, China, 2017
    ECNU, Shanghai, China, 2018

  Prof., Tecn.Univ.of Denmark (DTU), 1976-2007

  UN Director, UNU-IIST, Macau, 1982-1987

  Known for Formal Methods, VDM, RAISE, etc.
  More than 120 publications, 7 books, …