A precise examination of the behaviour of process models

  • Kelvin J. Ross
  • Peter A. Lindsay
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 873)


For large software developments, process modelling can be used to guide and monitor the use of development tools. This paper explores the addition of “behavioural properties” to process models as a means for reasoning about the status of a software development as it evolves under a given process model. In this way, the behaviour of the process model may be given as a static meaning of each status, rather than having to evaluate the dynamic execution of the whole process model. These ideas are illustrated on a small case study. The process model is translated into VDM and standard VDM verification techniques are applied to show, among other things, that the behavioural properties are maintained by the process and that tools are invoked from the process model only when their preconditions are satisfied.


process modelling formal methods VDM configuration management 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [BFL+94]
    J. C. Bicarregui, J. S. Fitzgerald, P. A. Lindsay, R. D. Moore, and B. Ritchie. Proof in VDM: A Practitioner's Guide. FACIT Series. Springer-Verlag, 1994. ISBN 3-540-19813-X.Google Scholar
  2. [DG90]
    W. Deiters and V. Gruhn. Managing software processes in the environment MELMAC. In R. N. Taylor, editor, Proc. 4th ACM SIGSOFT Symp. on Software Development Environments, vol. 15, SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes, Dec. 1990.Google Scholar
  3. [Har87]
    D. Harel. Statecharts: a visual approach to complex systems. Science of Computer Programming, 8(3):231–274, 1987.Google Scholar
  4. [JJLM91]
    C. B. Jones, K. D. Jones, P. A. Lindsay, and R. D. Moore. Mural: A Formal Development Support System. Springer-Verlag, London, 1991.Google Scholar
  5. [Jon90]
    C. B. Jones. Systematic Software Development using VDM. Prentice Hall International, second edition, 1990.Google Scholar
  6. [JPSW93]
    G. Junkermann, B. Peuschel, W. Schäfer, and S. Wolf. MERLIN: Supporting cooperation in software development through a knowledge-based environment. Tech. Rep. No. 70, Univ. of Dortmund, Germany, September 1993.Google Scholar
  7. [Jun94]
    G. Junkermann. How to improve process programming in merlin. Tech. Rep., Univ. of Dortmund, Germany, 1994. To appear.Google Scholar
  8. [LvK94]
    P. A. Lindsay and E. van Keulen. Verification Case Studies in Z and VDM. Tech. Rep. TR 94-3, Software Verification Research Centre, Dept. of Comp. Sci., Univ. of Queensland, Australia, 1994.Google Scholar
  9. [PS92]
    B. Peuschel and W. Schäfer. Concepts and implementation of a rule-based process engine. In Proc. 14th Int. Conf. on Software Engineering, Melbourne, Australia, May 1992.Google Scholar
  10. [PSW92]
    B. Peuschel, W. Schäfer, and S. Wolf. A knowledge-based software development environment supporting cooperative work. International Journal of Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering, 2(1):79–106, 1992.Google Scholar
  11. [RL93]
    K. J. Ross and P. A. Lindsay. Maintaining consistency under changes to formal specifications. In J. C. P. Woodcock and P. G. Larsen, editors, Proceedings of Formal Methods Europe — 1993, LNCS 670, pages 558–577. Springer-Verlag, April 1993.Google Scholar
  12. [RL94]
    K. J. Ross and P. A. Lindsay. A VDM Verification of Merlin Process Models. Tech. Rep. TR 94-7, Software Verification Research Centre, Dept. of Comp. Sci., University of Queensland, 1994.Google Scholar
  13. [VDM93]
    VDM specification language proto-standard: Draft. British Standards Institute, Working Group IST/5/19, November 1993. ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22/WG19 N-20.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kelvin J. Ross
    • 1
  • Peter A. Lindsay
    • 1
  1. 1.Software Verification Research Centre, Department of Computer ScienceThe University of QueenslandAustralia

Personalised recommendations