Rule-Based Consistency Checking of Railway Infrastructure Designs

  • Bjørnar Luteberget
  • Christian Johansen
  • Martin Steffen
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9681)


Railway designs deal with complex and large-scale, safety-critical infrastructures, where formal methods play an important role, especially in verifying the safety of so-called interlockings through model checking. Model checking deals with state change and rather complex properties, usually incurring considerable computational burden (chiefly in terms of memory, known as state-space explosion problem). In contrast to this, we focus on static infrastructure properties, based on design guidelines and heuristics. The purpose is to automate much of the manual work of the railway engineers through software that can do verification on-the-fly. In consequence, this paper describes the integration of formal methods into the railway design process, by formalizing relevant technical rules and expert knowledge. We employ a variant of Datalog and use the standardized “railway markup language” railML as basis and exchange format for the formalization. We describe a prototype tool and its (ongoing) integration in industrial railway CAD software, developed under the name RailCOMPLETE®. We apply this tool chain in a Norwegian railway project, the upgrade of the Arna railway station.


Railway designs Automation Logic programming Signalling Railway infrastructure railML CAD Datalog 



We thank Anacon AS and RailComplete AS, especially senior engineer Claus Feyling, for guidance on railway methodology and philosophy. We acknowledge the support of the Norwegian Research Council through the project RailCons – Automated Methods and Tools for Ensuring Consistency of Railway Designs.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bjørnar Luteberget
    • 1
  • Christian Johansen
    • 2
  • Martin Steffen
    • 2
  1. 1.RailComplete AS (Formerly Anacon AS)SandvikaNorway
  2. 2.Department of InformaticsUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

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