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Towards a Formalism-Based Toolkit for Automotive Applications

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Michael Jackson, Professor Cliff JonesORCiD, Dr Manuel Mazzara



The success of a number of projects has been shown to be significantly improved by the use of formalism, both conceputal (methods) and software (tools). However, most of the approaches described in the literature so far leave an open issue: to what extent can the development process be built around strict formal notations from the very beginning. The majority of approaches demonstrate a low level of flexibility by attempting to use a single notation to express all of the different aspects encountered in software development. Often, these approaches leave a number of scalability issues open. We prefer a more eclectic approach. In our experience, the use of a formalism-based toolkit with adequate notations for each development phase is a viable solution. Following this principle, any specific notation is used only where and when it is really suitable and not necessarily over the entire software lifecycle. The approach explored in this article is perhaps slowly emerging in practice — we hope to accelerate its adoption. However, the major challenge is still finding the best way to instantiate it for each specific application scenario. In this work, we describe a development process and method for automotive applications which consists of five phases. The process recognises the need for having adequate (and tailored) notations (Problem Frames, Requirements State Machine Language, and Event-B) for each development phase as well as direct traceability between the documents produced during each phase. This allows for a step-wise verification/validation of the system under development. The ideas for the formal development method have evolved over two significant case studies carried out in the DEPLOY project.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gmehlich R, Grau K, Jackson M, Jones C, Loesch F, Mazzara M

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title: School of Computing Science Technical Report Series

Year: 2012

Pages: 18

Print publication date: 01/03/2012

Source Publication Date: March 2012

Report Number: 1317

Institution: School of Computing Science, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Place Published: Newcastle upon Tyne