Re: [SystemSafety] Logic

From: Derek M Jones < >
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2014 14:36:15 +0000


> I have put a White Paper, The Importance of Logic in the Informatics Curriculum, up on our WWW site
> at . This
> makes the case for studying some formal language with an unambiguous semantics in general, and logic
> in particular, in *any* informatics curriculum. It works off some key observations which some of you

Formal logic is all well and good for small systems but it does not scale. I think you should explain this important issue to your students.

A mathematicians point of view:
"Highly complex proofs and implications of such proofs"

The practical usefulness of formal logic for anything but the smallest problem is wildly overblown in computer science and I continue to be amazed by the claims made by the proponents of this approach:

> have made, and a key intervention by Tobias Nipkow at TU München, who pointed me to a paper by Joe
> Halpern et al on the "Unreasonable Effectiveness" of logic in informatics, published in the Bulletin
> of Symbolic Logic, following the relatively well-known line of work with this phrase in the title by
> Gene Wigner and Richard Hamming, about math in the natural sciences.
> I wrote this paper yesterday and today so I could tell all our students to read it. A paper
> summarising the discussion and affidavits that have appeared in this thread so far, in White Paper
> format, will follow, contributors willing (obviously I shall ask beforehand. Contributions to the
> List appear in the publicly-accessible archive, of course. Some contributors have mailed me
> privately due to company requirements).
> I think it is important to address such tropes as they arise (I also know that this view is not
> shared by all here!). The tropes, in their guise as what it is acceptable to affirm or argue in
> professional forums, affect politically what counts as good practice in our field. Both John and
> Martyn have addressed in this thread what should count as good practice (not just best practice, but
> good practice) and what must be present, resp. is lacking, in institutional structures (including
> professional societies and informatics curricula) to assure it. In order to sort that out, the
> tropes must be addressed. Those of us with employment tenure who have the inclination can do so :-)
> Prof. Peter Bernard Ladkin, Faculty of Technology, University of Bielefeld, 33594 Bielefeld, Germany
> Tel+msg +49 (0)521 880 7319
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> systemsafety_at_xxxxxx >

Derek M. Jones                  tel: +44 (0) 1252 520 667
Knowledge Software Ltd
Software analysis     
The System Safety Mailing List
Received on Tue Feb 18 2014 - 15:37:30 CET

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