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Preface to Strategies for Real-Time System Specification

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The authors of Strategies for Real-Time System Specification introduce their book, which addresses how to specify the problems that the hardware and software must solve.

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This chapter is from the book

This book describes two methods for specifying, respectively, the requirements for and the design structure of software-based systems. Although the methods grew up around real-time embedded systems, systems of all types and sizes have benefited from them, largely because of their flexibility and adaptability. The methods can be viewed as an integrated toolkit from which all the tools are compatible, but only those that are useful for the particular job need be used.

The subject of this book is neither computer science nor software. Although the vast majority of the systems to which the methods are applied will in fact be implemented using software in digital computers, the methods do not address how to write that software or how to design that hardware. What the methods do address is how to specify the problems that the hardware and software must solve.

Organization and audience of the book

The book is intended for a wide range of readers. We assume that you are involved, or at least interested, in software-based systems, but that your needs may range from just a general understanding to an in-depth working knowledge. We have tried to organize the book to make it easy for you to select those parts that are of specific interest to you and to avoid those that are not.

The figure on the following page shows the layout of the book. Part I provides an overview from which everyone will benefit. Parts II and IV describe what the methods are, and if you only need to understand the specifications resulting from their use, then these two parts are enough for you to read. If you need to prepare specifications, then you will also need to read Parts III and V, which describe how to use the methods. Part VI contains examples of the application of the methods, and we conclude the book with appendices and a brief bibliography.

Decide what your area of interest is—requirements analysis, design, or both—and what depth of understanding you need—general familiarity, use of the completed specifications, or building the specifications—and it will be clear from the figure which parts of the book you should read.

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A Map of the Book

  • Derek J. Hatley
  • Wyoming, Michigan
  • Imtiaz A. Pirbhai
  • Seattle, Washington
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