Refinement-based validation of Event-B specifications

Authors Atif Mashkoor
Faqing Yang
Jean-Pierre Jacquot
Title Refinement-based validation of Event-B specifications
Type article
Journal Software and Systems Modelling
Number 3
Volume 16
DOI 10.1007/s10270-016-0514-4
ISSN 1619-1366
Month July
Year 2017
Pages 789-808
SCCH ID# 1613

The validation of formal specifications is a challenging task. It is one of the factors that impede the penetration of formal methods into the common practices of software development. This paper discusses the issue of validating formal models by executing them in the context of Event-B. The most important problem lies in the non-determinism which often prevents purely automatic tools to execute models. In this paper, we first present and discuss the techniques we have created to allow the execution of models at all levels of abstraction. These techniques rely on users to overcome the barriers resulting from non-deterministic features by either modifying the model or providing ad hoc implementations. Then, we present our main contribution, the formal definition of the notion of fidelity that guarantees that all the observable behaviors of the executable models are indeed specified by the original (non-deterministic) models. The notion of fidelity can be expressed in terms of proof obligations.