A generalised theory of Interface Automata, component compatibility and error

  • Sascha Fendrich
  • Gerald Lüttgen
Original Article


Interface theories allow system designers to reason about the composability and compatibility of concurrent system components. Such theories often extend both de Alfaro and Henzinger’s Interface Automata and Larsen’s Modal Transition Systems, which leads, however, to several issues that are undesirable in practice: an unintuitive treatment of specified unwanted behaviour, a binary compatibility concept that does not scale to multi-component assemblies, and compatibility guarantees that are insufficient for software product lines. In this article we show that communication mismatches are central to all these problems and, thus, the ability to represent such errors semantically is an important feature of an interface theory. Accordingly, we present the error-aware interface theory EMIA, where the above shortcomings are remedied by introducing explicit fatal error states. In addition, we prove via a Galois insertion that EMIA is a conservative generalisation of the established Modal Interface Automata theory.



We are grateful to Ferenc Bujtor, Rance Cleaveland, Rolf Hennicker, Kim G. Larsen, Michael Mendler, Thomas Streicher, Walter Vogler, Diedrich Wolter and the anonymous reviewers for their helpful suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Software Technologies Research GroupUniversity of BambergBambergGermany

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