Formal Aspects of Computing

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 393–416 | Cite as

Temporal-logic property preservation under Z refinement

Original Article


Formal specification languages such as Z, B and VDM are used in the incremental development of abstract specifications (suitable for establishing required properties) to more concrete specifications (resembling the final implementation). This incremental development process, known as refinement, preserves all observable properties of the original abstract specification. Recent research has looked at applying temporal-logic model checking to such specification languages. While this assists in the establishment of properties of the abstract specification, temporal-logic properties typically refer to state variables which are regarded as non-observable. Hence, such properties are not guaranteed to be preserved by refinement. This paper investigates the classes of temporal-logic properties which are preserved by refinement, and for some of those properties that are not preserved in general, the restrictions on the refinement process under which they are preserved. Results are presented for the temporal logics LTL, CTL and the μ-calculus and the formal specification language Z. They apply equally, however, to related formal specification languages such as B and VDM.


Refinement Temporal logic Property preservation 


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Copyright information

© British Computer Society 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK
  2. 2.School of Information Technology and Electrical EngineeringThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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