Towards a Formalism-Based Toolkit for Automotive Applications

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  2. Professor Michael Jackson
  3. Professor Cliff Jones
  4. Dr Manuel Mazzara
Author(s)Gmehlich R, Grau K, Jackson M, Jones C, Loesch F, Mazzara M
Publication type Report
Series TitleSchool of Computing Science Technical Report Series
DateMarch 2012
Report Number1317
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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.
InstitutionSchool of Computing Science, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Place PublishedNewcastle upon Tyne
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