Rule-Based Incremental Verification Tools Applied to Railway Designs and Regulations
When designing railway infrastructure (tracks, signalling systems, etc.), railway engineers need to keep in mind numerous regulations for ensuring safety. Many of these regulations are simple, but demonstrably conforming with them often involves tedious manual work. We have worked on automating the verification of regulations against CAD designs, and integrated a verification tool and methodology into the tool chain of railway engineers. Automatically generating a model from the railway designs and running the verification tool on it is a valuable step forward, compared to manually reviewing the design for compliance and consistency. To seamlessly integrate the consistency checking into the CAD work-flow of the design engineers, however, requires a fast, on-the-fly mechanism, similar to real-time compilation done in standard programming tools.
In consequence, in this paper we turn to incremental verification and investigate existing rule-based tools, looking at various aspects relevant for engineering railway designs. We discuss existing state-of-the-art methods for incremental verification in the setting of rule-based modelling. We survey and compare relevant tools (ca. 30) and discuss if/how they could be integrated in a railway design environment, such as CAD software. We examine and compare four promising tools: XSB Prolog, a standard tool in the Datalog community, RDFox from the semantic web community, Dyna from the AI community, and LogicBlox, a proprietary solution.
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