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Hillel @Hillelogram
, 12 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
People often say formal methods are just an academia or "NASA" thing. They're not. Here are just a few examples of "industry" problems you can tackle with formal specification. I've included examples if they're publicly available, otherwise I've seen/done it in private code.
Business code: Does my system accurately follow all the requirements of the customer? medium.com/espark-enginee…
Service architectures: if we have several independent communicating services, do we ever have dangerous race conditions?
Optimizations: We want to make a system more performant without making it buggier. lamport.azurewebsites.net/tla/formal-met…

(At a not-Amazon-scale, touched on a bit here for the case of "making sure we stay under the rate limit": learntla.com/concurrency/ex…)
Feature interaction: given a set of business rules, are there any reachable situations where the business rules contradict each other?
DevOps: Will our deploys work successfully? What if the deploy fails for one server? Will users ever experience a downtime during deployment? hillelwayne.com/post/modeling-…
Distributed Systems: Will a job-processing system eventually complete every job? Will it report them all as completed? andy.hammerhartes.de/finding-bugs-i…

(Private case: will a job-processing system keep working even if one node fails? If half the nodes fail?)
Financial Systems: Can my trading algorithm trigger a Flash Crash? linkedin.com/pulse/lamports…
State Machines: "My code is a giant state machine, does it lead to unexpected states?" from @pkriens. aqute.biz/2018/05/22/Sta…
Scientific Simulations: is the simulation accurate to the model? www4.ncsu.edu/~jwb/papers/ba…

(That paper is wild. They use Alloy to determine if bizarre simulation results are actually realistic possibilities or issues with the simulation.)
Data Integrity: our data needs certain properties we can't directly enforce in the database. Does this application logic guarantee the properties hold?
If any of this stuff sounds useful to you, I write specs and run workshops for companies: hillelwayne.com/consulting/

(I might also have an upcoming public workshop, too. Keep your eyes peeled!)
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