ERCIM News No.25 - April 1996
ERCIM Working Group on Formal Methods for Industrial Critical Systems
by Diego Latella and Stefania Gnesi
The recently formed ERCIM working group on Formal Methods for Industrial
Critical Systems will bring together researchers of the ERCIM consortium
in order to promote the use of formal methods within industry.
Formal Methods has been advocated as a means of increasing the reliability
of systems, especially those which are safety or business critical, but
the industrial uptake of such methods has been slow. This is mainly due
to the perceived difficulty of the mathematical nature of these methods
and the lack of tool support.
In the last decade several theories have been developed which aim at coping
with the problem of systems correctness by means of formal methodologies
for the specification, design and verification of systems. Nevertheless,
the use of formal methods in industry is still quite limited. Major reasons
for this are apparently the notational difficulty of most formal methods
available nowadays and the lack of integration between them. Notational
complexity is often a stronger deterrent to the use of formal methods than
the advantages of such methods. This is reinforced by the lack of models
which support all the activities of system development:
For each of the above activities different techniques have been developed
independently. They are usually not at all integrated, neither compatible
and quite often they have been tried only on toy-examples, leading to results
which are rather difficult to compare. In addition, most of the automatic
tools developed to support the use of formal methods lack industrial strength
and so turn out to be unpractical when used in the industrial context.
- requirements specification
- validation of the specification
- verification of the final product against the requirements.
The main objectives of the Working Group are:
The above objectives will be met by means of:
- to bring together scientists of institutions in ERCIM who are active
in the field of formal methods and are willing to exchange their experience
in the industrial usage of formal methods
- to coordinate efforts in the transfer of the formal methods technology
and knowledge to the industry
- to promote research and development for the improvement of formal
methods and tools with respect to their usage in the industry.
The WG is currently composed by researchers of the following ERCIM Member
Institutions: CLRC, CNR, FORTH, GMD, INRIA, SICS. Moreover, some non-ERCIM
researchers have also joined the WG.
- workshops where the participation of industrial professionals will
- development projects with industrial partners
- research projects and researchers mobility.
Research groups of other ERCIM institutes that are interested in joining
the working group are requested to contact the chairman named below.
Information on the web: http://fdt.cnuce.cnr.it:8080/Home/fm-ercim/WgDescription.html
Please contact: Tel: +39 50 593230 Diego Latella - CNR E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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