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CS 510 — Formal Methods in Software Engineering
(dt. Formale Methoden in der Softwaretechnik)

Level, degree of commitment Specialization module, depends on importing study program
Forms of teaching and learning,
Lecture (4 SWS), recitation class (2 SWS),
270 hours (90 h attendance, 180 h private study)
Credit points,
formal requirements
9 CP
Course requirement(s): Successful completion of at least 50 percent of the points from the weekly exercises as well as at least 2 presentations of the tasks.
Examination type: Oral examination (individual examination) or written examination
The grading is done with 0 to 15 points according to the examination regulations for the degree program M.Sc. Computer Science.
Subject, Origin Computer Science, M.Sc. Computer Science
One semester,
Person in charge of the module's outline Prof. Dr. Gabriele Taentzer


Formal methods are used for the formal specification and analysis of software systems and as a suitable abstraction level for the description and solution of software problems. Starting from finite automata, we consider the formal specification of simple systems and analyze them with model checking. For the specification and analysis of more realistic systems we refine the state specification by data structures. Graphs can be used flexibly to specify data structures. Their changes can be systematically defined with graph transformations. On this basis, typical software development activities, such as system design and program testing, can be formally specified and analyzed. We also consider simple program verification. Finally, we focus on a selected problem in software engineering and jointly develop a specification and analysis technique for this problem.

Qualification Goals


  • are able to formalize systems, system properties, and software development activities,
  • know how to automatically analyze and verify system properties,
  • are able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of formal methods in software engineering,
  • are able to apply scientific working methods when independently identifying, formulating and solving problems,
  • are able to speak freely about scientific content, both in front of an audience and in a discussion.


None. The competences taught in the following modules are recommended: Theoretical Computer Science, Logic, Software Engineering.

Recommended Reading

  • Will be announced in the module announcement.

Please note:

This page describes a module according to the latest valid module guide in Winter semester 2023/24. Most rules valid for a module are not covered by the examination regulations and can therefore be updated on a semesterly basis. The following versions are available in the online module guide:

The module guide contains all modules, independent of the current event offer. Please compare the current course catalogue in Marvin.

The information in this online module guide was created automatically. Legally binding is only the information in the examination regulations (Prüfungsordnung). If you notice any discrepancies or errors, we would be grateful for any advice.