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Formal Aspects of Computing

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 361–380 | Cite as

Formal Verification of a Railway Interlocking System using Model Checking

  • A. Cimatti
  • F. Giunchiglia
  • G. Mongardi
  • D. Romano
  • F. Torielli
  • P. Traverso
Original Paper

Abstract.

In this paper we describe an industrial application of formal methods. We have used model checking techniques to model and formally verify a rather complex software, i.e. part of the “safety logic” of a railway interlocking system. The formal model is structured to retain the reusability and scalability properties of the system being modelled. Part of it is defined once for all at a low cost, and re-used. The rest of the model can be mechanically generated from the designers' current specification language. The model checker is “hidden” to the user, it runs as a powerful debugger. Its performances are impressive: exhaustive analysis of quite complex configurations with respect to rather complex properties are run in the order of minutes. The main reason for this achievement is essentially a carefully designed model, which exploits all the behaviour evolution constraints. The re-usability/scalability of the model and the fact that formal verification is automatic and efficient are the key factors which open up the possibility of a real usage by designers at design time. We have thus assessed the possibility of introducing the novel technique in the development cycle with an advantageous costs/benefits relation.

Keywords: Formal methods; Model checking; Industrial applications; Safety critical systems; spin 

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Copyright information

© BCS 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Cimatti
    • 1
  • F. Giunchiglia
    • 1
  • G. Mongardi
    • 2
  • D. Romano
    • 3
  • F. Torielli
    • 2
  • P. Traverso
    • 1
  1. 1.Istituto per la Ricerca Scientifica e Tecnologica (IRST), Trento, ItalyIT
  2. 2.Ansaldo Segnalamento Ferroviario (ASF), Genova, ItalyIT
  3. 3.Ansaldo Trasporti (ATR), Genova, ItalyIT

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