On observational equivalence and algebraic specification

Donald Sannella, Andrzej Tarlecki

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract / Description of output

The properties of a simple and natural notion of observational equivalence of algebras and the corresponding specification-building operation (observational abstraction) are studied. We begin with a definition of observational equivalence which is adequate to handle reachable algebras only, and show how to extend it to cope with unreachable algebras and also how it may be generalised to make sense under an arbitrary institution. Behavioural equivalence is treated as an important special case of observational equivalence, and its central role in program development is shown by means of an example.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMathematical Foundations of Software Development
EditorsHartmut Ehrig, Christiane Floyd, Maurice Nivat, James Thatcher
PublisherSpringer-Verlag GmbH
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)978-3-540-15198-2
Publication statusPublished - 1985

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
PublisherSpringer Berlin / Heidelberg
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


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