An overview of the ISO VDM-SL standard

An overview of the ISO VDM-SL standard - A n O v e r v i e...

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An Overview of the ISO/VDM-SL Standard Nico Plat* Peter Gorm Larsen* Delft University of Technology Faculty of Technical Mathematics and Informatics P.O.Box 356, NL-2600 AJ Delft, The Netherlands nico@dutiaa.tudelft.nl IFAD The Institute of Applied Computer Science Forskerparken 10, DK-5230 Odense, Denmark peter@ifad.dk Abstract VDM-SL, the notation incorporated in the for-. real method VDM, is currently being standard- ized under auspices of the International Stan- dards Institution (ISO) and the British Stan- dards Institution (BSI). It is one of the few formal languages of which the syntax and the semantics have been completely formally de- fined. In this paper we present an overview of the standard, including a report on the current status of the standardization effort. 1 Introduction fined [13, 6], such that the language is suitable for prototyping. The increasing use of VDM and the growing num- ber of dialects in use have led to the recognition of the need for a standard for VDM-SL. The stan- dardization effort is carried out under the flag of ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22/WG19. It is expected that an internationally recognized standard for VDM- SL will lead to: An increase in the use of VDM. The stan- dard provides a reference document for VDM-SL, serving as an agreed document defining the exact meaning and format of VDM-SL specifications. The acceptance of the importance of formal meth- ods for software development, and the industrial application of formal methods are becoming in- creasingly widespread. Formal methods provide a mathematical approach to the specification and subsequent development of software, thus allow- ing unambiguous specifications and development steps which can be proved to be correct. One of the most mature formal methods, primar- ily intended for the formal specification and de- velopment of functional aspects of software sys- tems, is the Vienna Development Method (VDM) [5, 11]. A central element of VDM is its spec- ification language: VDM-SL. VDM-SL is a wide spectrum specification language: it can be used for highly abstract specifications as well as for specifi- cations at a very low level of abstraction. In fact, an executable subset of the language can be de- An increase in the tool support for VDM. The availability of a standard will increase the possibility for specifications to be com- municated between tools, which will make the development of such tools more attrac- tive for tool vendors. A deeper insight into the problems occur- ring with the complete formal definition of formal languages. Virtually all aspects of VDM-SL have been formally defined, natu- ral language merely being used for annota- tion purposes. To the authors' knowledge, the only other language for which this is be- ing done (in the context of ISO standardiza- tion) is Modula-2 [3]. In this paper we will present an overview of the standard for VDM-SL. A reference guide for the *The authors are official delegates to ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22/WG19 for The Netherlands and Denmark, respectively.
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An overview of the ISO VDM-SL standard - A n O v e r v i e...

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