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Schaefer07

  1. Robert Schaefer
  2. The Grand Theory of Everything: What Man-Made Systems are, and Why They Fail
  3. ACM SIGSOFT Software Engineering notes V32n4(Jul 2007)p31 [ 1281421.1281430 ] (links to a 26 page PDF)
  4. =JOKE? THEORY FAILURE tGToE
  5. tGToE::="the Grand Theory of Everything".
  6. Written in an 18th century Style -- with Many definitions and Random Capitalizations but Getting Close to Heart of the Reason for Complex Systems Failing.
  7. Here is a Cogent Quotation from the Verbose and Jocular Paper:
      In the practice of Systems Development, Rules are enumerated to comprise a Finite sized Set of Constraints. This Set in Systems Development is called the Requirements (in Systems Use these are called Policies). The number of Freedoms that a System has is the Inverse of that Finite Set of Constraints which by Rules of Logic are Infinite in number. This relationship of Finite Rules and Infinite Freedoms is more than a Curiosity, as in the mapping of a Solution into a Model of Behavior, the Rules become Contractual Shalls (A "Shall" being a Statement that Indicates a Contractual Obligation of Legal Consequence) while the Inverse, Freedoms, become the Infinite Set of "Shall Nots. That Infinite Set of Shall Not Behaviors represents a Set which can never be Fully Imagined, and thus can never Fully Defined, Implemented, or Tested. Because this Set can never be Fully Defined it is customarily Replaced with a Time and Money based Stopping Criteria, i.e. to Proceed along the set of Requirements (that One hopes is at least a "well-defined" Subset of Infinity) until the Requirements are Implemented and Tested, or the Customer's Will as measured by Time and Money, Runs Out. Note that at this Stopping Point there may be a Gap between "What Is", and "What Is Desired". In terms of Systems Reliability, this Gap is called a Hazard.

  8. To summarize: requirements are always incomplete and some conditions will always be untested.
  9. Also see [Schaefer06] and [Gall79].

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