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Design of safety critical systems by refinement

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Alexei Iliasov, Arseniy Alekseyev, Dr Danil Sokolov, Dr Andrey Mokhov


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An increasingly large number of safety-critical embedded systems rely on software to prevent and mitigate hazards occurring due to design errors and unexpected interactions of the system with its users and the environment. Implementing a safety instrumented function in the way advocated by the traditional software methods requires an intimate understanding and thorough validation of a complex ecosystem of programming languages, compilers, operating systems and hardware. We propose to consider an alternative where a system designer, for each individual problem, creates in a correct-by-construction manner both the design of a system and its compilation and execution infrastructure. This permits an uninterrupted chain of a formal correctness argument spanning from formalised requirements all the way to the gate-level characterisation of an execution environment. The past decade of advances in verification technology turned the mechanical verification of large-scale models into a reality while the pressure of certification makes the cost of a formally verified development routine increasingly acceptable.The proposal fits the Grand Challenge for Computer Research posed by Hoare in 2003, namely, development of a Verifying Compiler which not only mechanically translates a given program from one language to another but also verifies its correctness according to a formal specification. This allows meeting the most stringent software certification requirements such as SIL 4. We illustrate the vision with a small case-study developed using the Event-B modelling notation and tools.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Iliasov A, Alekseyev A, Sokolov D, Mokhov A

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 2014 Design, Automaton and Test in Europe Conference and Exhibition (DATE)

Year of Conference: 2014

Print publication date: 01/01/2014

Acceptance date: 01/01/1900

Publisher: IEEE


DOI: 10.7873/DATE.2014.100