Automated Software Engineering

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 299–312

Reasoning about programs via operational semantics: requirements for a support system

Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10515-008-0036-6

Cite this article as:
Hughes, J.R.D. & Jones, C.B. Autom Softw Eng (2008) 15: 299. doi:10.1007/s10515-008-0036-6
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Abstract

Reasoning about programs using “axioms” is well established; in this paper we argue that reasoning about a program directly in terms of Structural Operational Semantic (SOS) language descriptions is a viable addition and that this is anyway necessary for the vast majority of languages where there is nothing like a full axiomatic description. Using an SOS description is likely to require detailed proofs whose acceptability to users will depend on suitable support systems. The paper presents a very simple example to illustrate how we can reason about (in fact, develop) a program to prove that it satisfies a specification. The main contribution is to use this trivial example to point out issues in designing an interactive proof system for constructing such proofs.

Keywords

Structural operational semanticsProofs about programsTool support

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Computing ScienceNewcastle UniversityNewcastleUK