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Specifying a real-time kernel

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1 Author(s)
Spivey, J.M. ; Tektronix, Portland, OR, USA

The application of formal methods to a safety-critical system is illustrated. The objective of the study was to improve the existing documentation of a diagnostic X-ray machine to serve later reimplementations. The separation of the kernel from applications helped identify a design flaw in the kernel that could have caused damage by the X-ray application. The case study which shows that mathematical techniques have an important role to play in documenting systems and avoiding design flaws, is a good example of the use of the Z (pronounced 'Zed') notation and its methods for modeling systems. The limitations of this specification are delineated, showing that there is a need for other specification techniques to tackle the remaining properties, like real-time performance, for completeness and comparison.<>

Published in:

Software, IEEE  (Volume:7 ,  Issue: 5 )

Date of Publication:

Sept. 1990

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