Early Fault Detection in Industry using Models at Various Abstraction Levels

Jozef Hooman, Arjan J. Mooij, and Hans van Wezep

Appeared in: Proceedings 9th International Conference on Integrated Formal Methods (iFM 2012), LNCS 7321, pages 268-282, Springer-Verlag, 2012.


Most formal models that are used in the industry are close to the level of code, and often ready to be used for code generation. Formal models can also be analysed and verified in order to detect any faults. As the first formal models are often such code-level models, their analysis not only reveals a lot of detailed design faults, but also the more relevant conceptual faults in the design and the requirements. Our observations are based on our experiences in an industrial development project that uses a commercial tool for formal modelling, compositional verification, and code generation. In addition to the provided tool functionality, we have introduced formal techniques to detect conceptual faults during the earlier design and requirements phases. To this end we have made additional formal models, both for the requirements and for the early designs at various abstraction levels. We have analysed these models using simulation and interactive visualization, and we have compared them using refinement checking.

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