Study on the barriers to the industrial adoption of formal methods

J. Davis, M. Clark, D. Cofer, A. Fifarek, J. Hinchman, J. Hoffman, B. Hulbert, S. Miller, L. Wagner

FMICS 2013

The authors conducted an informal survey of contractors, customers, and certification authorities in the United States aerospace domain to identify barriers to the adoption of formal methods and suggested mitigations for those barriers. We surveyed 31 individuals from the following nine organizations: United States Army, Boeing, FAA, Galois, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, NASA, Rockwell Collins, and Wind River. The top three barrier categories were education, tools, and the industrial environment (i.e., non-technical barriers with respect to personnel changes, contracts, and schedules) The top three mitigation categories were education, improving tool integration, and creating and disseminating evidence of the benefits of formal analysis. Strategies to accelerate adoption of formal methods include making formal methods a part of the undergraduate software engineering curriculum, hosting courses in formal methods for working engineers, funding the integration of tools, funding improvements to tool interfaces, and promoting/requiring the use of formal methods on future contracts.