University of Minnesota
Software Engineering Center
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Jeffrey Thompson

Recent Publications

Specifying and Analyzing System Level Inter-Component Interfaces

In control systems, the interfaces between software and its embedding environment are a major source of costly errors. For example, Lutz reported that 20% - 35% of the safety related errors discovered during integration and system testing of two spacecraft were related to the interfaces between the software and the embedding hardware. Also, the software's operating environment is likely to change over time further complicating the issues related to system-level inter-component communication. In this paper we discuss a formal approach to the specification

Structuring Formal Control Systems Specifications for Reuse: Surviving Hardware Changes

Formal capture and analysis of the required behavior of control systems have many advantages. For instance, it encourages rigorous requirements analysis, the required behavior is unambiguously defined, and we can assure that various safety properties are satisfied. Formal modeling is, however, a costly and time consuming process and if one could reuse the formal models over a family of products, significant cost savings would be realized. In an ongoing project we are investigating how to structure state-based models to achieve a high level of reusability within

Specification-Based Prototyping for Embedded Systems

Specification of software for safety critical, embedded computer systems has been widely addressed in literature. To achieve the high level of confidence in a specification's correctness necessary in many applications, manual inspections, formal verification, and simulation must be used in concert. Researchers have successfully addressed issues in inspection and verification; however, results in the areas of execution and simulation of specifications have not made as large an impact as desired. In this paper we present an approach to specification-based

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