An Entry Point for Formal Methods: Specification and Analysis of Event Logs

Howard Barringer
(University of Manchester, UK)
Alex Groce
(Oregon State University, USA)
Klaus Havelund
(Jet Propulsion Laboratory, USA)
Margaret Smith
(Jet Propulsion Laboratory, USA)

Formal specification languages have long languished, due to the grave scalability problems faced by complete verification methods. Runtime verification promises to use formal specifications to automate part of the more scalable art of testing, but has not been widely applied to real systems, and often falters due to the cost and complexity of instrumentation for online monitoring. In this paper we discuss work in progress to apply an event-based specification system to the logging mechanism of the Mars Science Laboratory mission at JPL. By focusing on log analysis, we exploit the "instrumentation" already implemented and required for communicating with the spacecraft. We argue that this work both shows a practical method for using formal specifications in testing and opens interesting research avenues, including a challenging specification learning problem.

In Manuela Bujorianu and Michael Fisher: Proceedings FM-09 Workshop on Formal Methods for Aerospace (FMA 2009), Eindhoven, The Netherlands, 3rd November 2009, Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science 20, pp. 16–21.
Published: 28th March 2010.

ArXived at: bibtex PDF

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