World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Michael A. Jackson

Michael Anthony Jackson (born 1936) is a British computer scientist, and independent computing consultant in London, England. He is also part-time researcher at AT&T Labs Research, Florham Park, NJ, U.S., and visiting research professor at the Open University in the UK.[1]


  • Biography 1
  • Work 2
    • Jackson Structured Programming 2.1
    • Jackson System Development 2.2
    • Problem Frames Approach 2.3
  • Publications 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Jackson was educated at Harrow School where he was taught by Christopher Strachey and wrote his first program under Strachey's guidance. He then studied classics at Oxford University (known as "Greats"), where he was a fellow student with C. A. R. Hoare, two years ahead of him. They had a shared interest in logic, which was studied as part of Greats at Oxford.

In the 1970s, Jackson developed Jackson Structured Programming (JSP). In the 1980s, with John Cameron, he developed Jackson System Development (JSD). Then, in the 1990s, he developed the Problem Frames Approach. In collaboration with Pamela Zave, he created "Distributed Feature Composition",[2] a virtual architecture for specification and implementation of telecommunication services.

Jackson received the Stevens Award for Software Development Methods in 1997.[3] His son Daniel Jackson is also a computer scientist based at MIT.[4]


Jackson has developed a series of methods. Each of these methods covers a wider scope than the previous one, and builds on ideas that appeared, but were not fully developed, in the previous one. Reading his books in sequence allows you to follow the evolution of his thinking.

Jackson Structured Programming

Jackson Structured Programming (JSP) was the first software development method that Jackson developed. It is a program design method, and was described in his book Principles of Program Design.[5] JSP covers the design of individual programs, but not systems.

Jackson System Development

The Jackson System Development (JSD) was the second software development method that Jackson developed.[6] JSD is a system development method not just for individual programs, but for entire systems. JSD is most readily applicable to information systems, but it can easily be extended to the development of real-time embedded systems. JSD was described in his book System Development.

Problem Frames Approach

Problem Analysis or the Problem Frames Approach was the third software development method that Jackson developed. It concerns itself with aspects of developing all kinds of software, not just information systems. It was first sketched in his book Software Requirements and Specifications, and described much more fully in his book Problem Frames. The First International Workshop on Applications and Advances in Problem Frames[7] was held as part of ICSE’04 held in Edinburgh, Scotland.


His books include:

  • 1975. Principles of Program Design ISBN 0-12-379050-6.
  • 1983. System Development ISBN 0-13-880328-5.
  • 1995. Software Requirements & Specifications ISBN 0-201-87712-0.
  • 1997. Business Process Implementation
  • 2001. Problem Frames: Analysing and Structuring Software Development Problems ISBN 0-201-59627-X.


  1. ^ Michael Jackson (not the singer) Consultancy & Research in Software Development. Accessed 24 April 2009.
  2. ^ Distributed Feature Composition at AT&T Research - Accessed 23 June 2011
  3. ^ Previous Stevens Recipients. Accessed 24 April 2009.
  4. ^ Jackson, Daniel. "Daniel Jackson". CSAIL Faculty Pages. Retrieved 2009-01-09. 
  5. ^ Jackson, M. A. (1975). Principles of Program Design. Academic Press, 1975
  6. ^ A System development method. M. A. Jackson, 1982
  7. ^ First International Workshop on Applications and Advances in Problem Frames

External links

  • Michael Jackson home page
  • The Jackson Software Development Methods
  • Distributed Feature Composition
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.