"On Documenting the Requirements for Computer Programs Based on Models of Physical Phenomena"


Dr. Konstantin Kreyman

Dr. David Parnas


Abstract

Programs for use by Scientists and Engineers are usually embodiments of mathematical models of physical phenomena. Complete and accurate models are usually quite complex because they must deal with the wide-variety of situations that can arise in the real-world. Informal descriptions of these models are often incomplete, imprecise, and, inaccurate and are not suitable for specifying what is required of a software package. This paper presents an approach to writing requirements documents for such programs. It demonstrates how tabular notation can make precise mathematical expressions more readable. It also shows how we can document systems in which the user is given some control of the computational method to be used.