Distributed Computing

, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 117–126

Recognizing safety and liveness


  • Bowen Alpern
    • IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
  • Fred B. Schneider
    • Department of Computer ScienceCornell University

DOI: 10.1007/BF01782772

Cite this article as:
Alpern, B. & Schneider, F.B. Distrib Comput (1987) 2: 117. doi:10.1007/BF01782772


A formal characterization for safety properties and liveness properties is given in terms of the structure of the Buchi automaton that specifies the property. The characterizations permit a property to be decomposed into a safety property and a liveness property whose conjunction is the original. The characterizations also give insight into techniques required to prove a large class of safety and liveness properties.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987