CS709 Formal Methods for Software Engineering

CS709 Formal Methods for Software Engineering


Introduction, Limitations of testing and need for formal verification, Overview of logic and propositional calculus, Calculational Logic, Logical Connectives, Boolean Equality, Continued Equivalence, Disjunction, Conjunction, Implication, Introduction to Hoare’s Logic, Weakest pre-condition, The assignment axiom, Calculating assignments, Sequential composition, Conditional statements, Reasoning about conditional statements, Constructing conditional statements, Inductive proofs and constructions, Patterns and invariant, From verification to construction, Design by Contract (DBC), The six principles of Design by contract, UML and Formal Methods, The Object Constraint Language (OCL), Algebraic Specifications, Specifications of abstract data types, Completeness, Axioms and term rewriting, Modularity and re-usability, Model-based specifications, The Z (Zed) specification Language, Z Schemas and Schema Calculus, Promotions, Data and functional refinements, Petri Nets, Limitations and Acceptance of Formal Methods, Seven Myths of Formal Methods.

Course Synopsis

This is a course in formal methods for specifying, validating and verifying software systems. Topics include program specification and verification through Hoare’s logic and Dijkstra’s weakest preconditions, formal specification and refinement towards implementation, integration of formal methods with existing programming languages and object-oriented approaches, model-based specifications, comparison of formal techniques.

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • Understand the basics of Hoare’s logic.
  • Write program specifications in terms of pre- and post-conditions.
  • Use formal techniques for verification of programs.
  • Use formal techniques for derivation of programs from their formal specifications.
  • Learn Design by Contract and Object Constraint Language (OCL).
  • Develop basic understanding of Algebraic and Model based specifications.

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