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Reasoning about programs via operational semantics: requirements for a support system

Lookup NU author(s): John Hughes, Professor Cliff Jones


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Reasoning about programs using "axioms" is well established; in this paper we argue that reasoning about a program directly in terms of Structural Operational Semantic (SOS) language descriptions is a viable addition and that this is anyway necessary for the vast majority of languages where there is nothing like a full axiomatic description. Using an SOS description is likely to require detailed proofs whose acceptability to users will depend on suitable support systems. The paper presents a very simple example to illustrate how we can reason about (in fact, develop) a program to prove that it satisfies a specification. The main contribution is to use this trivial example to point out issues in designing an interactive proof system for constructing such proofs.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hughes JRD, Jones CB

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Automated Software Engineering

Year: 2008

Volume: 15

Issue: 3-4

Pages: 299-312

ISSN (print): 0928-8910

ISSN (electronic): 1573-7535

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s10515-008-0036-6


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