Providing a formal linkage between MDG and HOL based on a verified MDG system
Formal verification techniques can be classified into two categories: deductive theorem proving and symbolic state enumeration. Each method has complementary advantages and disadvantages. In general, theorem provers are high reliability systems. They can be applied to the expressive formalisms that are capable of modelling complex designs such as processors. However, theorem provers use a glass-box approach. To complete a verification, it is necessary to understand the internal structure in detail. The learning curve is very steep and modeling and verifying a system is very time-consuming. In contrast, symbolic state enumeration tools use a black-box approach. When verifying a design, the user does not need to understand its internal structure. Their advantages are their speed and ease of use. But they can only be used to prove relatively simple designs and the system security is much lower than the theorem proving system. Many hybrid tools have been developed to reap the benefits of both theorem proving Systems and symbolic state enumeration Systems. Normally, the verification results from one system are translated to another system. In other words, there is a linkage between the two Systems. However, how can we ensure that this linkage can be trusted? How can we ensure the verification system itself is correct? The contribution of this thesis is that we have produced a methodology which can provide a formal linkage between a symbolic state enumeration system and a theorem proving system based on a verified symbolic state enumeration system. The methodology has been partly realized in two simplified versions of the MDG system (a symbolic state enumeration system) and the HOL system (a theorem proving system) which involves the following three steps. First, we have verified aspects of correctness of two simplified versions of the MDG system. We have made certain that the semantics of a program is preserved in those of its translated form. Secondly, we have provided a formal linkage between the MDG system and the HOL system based on importing theorems. The MDG verification results can be formally imported into HOL to form the HOL theorems. Thirdly, we have combined the translator correctness theorems with the importing theorems. This combination allows the low level MDG verification results to be imported into HOL in terms of the semantics of a high level language (MDG-HDL). We have also summarized a general method which is used to prove the existential theorem for the specification and implementation of the design. The feasibility of this approach has been demonstrated in a case study: the verification of the correctness and usability theorems of a vending machine.