Self-definition for software development

Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Wilks, B & Bailes, P 2012, 'Self-definition for software development, Proceedings of Software Engineering Workshop (SEW), 2012 35th Annual IEEE, Heraclion, Crete, Greece, 12-13 October, IEEE Computer Society Conference Publishing Services, Los Alamitos, CA, pp. 52-61. ISBN: 9781467355742

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Peer Reviewed



Satisfactory communication between developers and stake holders during system development is important to ensure satisfactory outcomes for those investing in the system. Unfortunately, communication is hampered when the two parties do not speak in the same language. Here, we identify and advocate the use of self-definition to alleviate some of these problems in certain types of systems where a formal or semiformal language is provided by the system for the user. Selfdefinition will be defined as describing the user's system in the language intended for use by the user. This will require effort by the developer to use the user's language but we will hypothesise that the systems so specified have advantages of otherwise specified systems, for both the developer and the user. To support our hypotheses we will draw on well-known examples of what we call "self-definition" from mathematics, computer science and other areas.