The IFAD VDM-SL toolbox a practical approach to formal specifications

The IFAD VDM-SL toolbox a practical approach to formal specifications

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Unformatted text preview: The IFA D V D M -SL Toolbox : A Practical A pproach to Form al Specification s Rene Elmstrom, Peter Gorm Larsen and Poul Bogh Lassen IFA D The Institute of Applied Computer Scienc e Forskerparken 10, DK-5230 Odense, Denmark {renelpeterlpoul}Qifad .dk Abstrac t The IFAD VDM-SL Toolbox is a collection of tool s for formal specifications development using the lates t version of the VDM-SL standard . In addition to th e full language it also supports a module-based structur - ing mechanism for large specifications . T he Toolbox features extensive semantics checking, documentatio n support, test coverage analysis and debugging support . We have focused on supporting real-life specifications development in industrial settings . This paper present s the Toolbox and also reports on our own experience us- ing it for the development of large specifications . 1 B a c k g ro u n d The Vienna Developm ent M ethod (VDM ) is on e of the m ost m ature form al m ethods, prim arily in- tended for the form al specification and the sub- sequent development of functional aspects of soft - ware systems . A central elem ent of V D M is it s specification language : VDM-SL . VDM -SL is used during the specification and de - sign phases of a software development project an d supports the production of correct and high qual- ity software . Com pared to traditional natural lan- guage specifications, a formal specification is un- am biguous and can be autom atically checked for many inconsistencies and errors . VDM-SL is being standardised under the auspice s of the International Standards Institution (ISO ) and the British Standards Institution (BSI) . It is currently a Com m ittee Draft standard under IS O and it is expected that this draft will be accepte d as a final standard more or less in its current form . The use of VDM -SL in the developm ent of soft - ware systems has been approached in various way s in the past . A very pragm atic approach reporte d is based on prototyping VDM-SL specifications us - ing a programming language . E .g. [3] reports o n the use of ABC+ to prototype VDM-SL specifica- tions for educational purposes and [1] reports o n (a prototype) sem i-autom atic translation syste m producing Lazy ML code from VDM-SL specifica- tions . These approaches however have the draw - back that another formalism (ABC+ or Lazy ML ) m ust be introduced to cope w ith the sem antic s of the VDM-SL specifications . F urtherm ore th e support provided for the prototyping process in these tools is not specially tailored for VDM -S L but rather dependent on the program m ing lan- guage in use . A more formal approach to the use o f VDM-SL is through proof of essential properties ....
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This note was uploaded on 03/31/2010 for the course CAS 707 taught by Professor Ridhakhedri during the Spring '10 term at McMaster University.

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The IFAD VDM-SL toolbox a practical approach to formal specifications

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