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Formal methods offer an effective means to assert the correctness of software systems through mathematical reasoning. However, the need to formulate system properties in a purely mathematical fashion can create pragmatic barriers to the application of these techniques. In this talk I will report on my experience in conceiving means to facilitate the nontrivial and error prone task of specifying, correctly and without expertise in temporal logic, temporal properties. Specifically, in the first part of the talk I will present Property Sequence Chart (PSC), which is a UML-like graphical language that has been defined with the aim of finding the “right” balance between expressive power and simplicity of use.
Then, the second part of the talk will focus on a unified catalogue of property specificationpatterns that combines all known qualitative, real-time, and probabilistic property specificationpatterns, plus 40 newly identified or extended patterns. The unified catalogue is also complemented with a natural language front-end and tool to map patterns to a temporal logic of choice.