Foundations and Trends® in Electronic Design Automation > Vol 6 > Issue 4

Rigorous System Design

Joseph Sifakis, RiSD Laboratory, EPFL, Switzerland, Joseph.Sifakis@epfl.ch
 
Suggested Citation
Joseph Sifakis (2013), "Rigorous System Design", Foundations and Trends® in Electronic Design Automation: Vol. 6: No. 4, pp 293-362. http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/1000000034

Published: 15 Apr 2013
© 2013 J. Sifakis
 
Subjects
System Level Design,  Verification
 
Keywords
Er Computer EngineeringPf SemiconductorsEe Electrical Engineering
Rigorous system designCorrectness by constructionComponent-based designDesign science
 

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In this article:
1 Introduction
2 From Programs to Systems — Significant Differences
3 Achieving Correctness
4 Existing Approaches and the State of the Art
5 Four Principles for Rigorous System Design
6 A System-Centric Vision for Computing
Acknowledgments
References

Abstract

The monograph advocates rigorous system design as a coherent and accountable model-based process leading from requirements to correct implementations. It presents the current state of the art in system design, discusses its limitations, and identifies possible avenues for overcoming them.

A rigorous system design flow is defined as a formal accountable and iterative process composed of steps, and based on four principles: (1) separation of concerns; (2) component-based construction; (3) semantic coherency; and (4) correctness-by-construction. The combined application of these principles allows the definition of a methodology clearly identifying where human intervention and ingenuity are needed to resolve design choices, as well as activities that can be supported by tools to automate tedious and error-prone tasks. An implementable system model is progressively derived by source-to-source automated transformations in a single host component-based language rooted in well-defined semantics. Using a single modeling language throughout the design flow enforces semantic coherency. Correct-by-construction techniques allow well-known limitations of a posteriori verification to be overcome and ensure accountability. It is possible to explain, at each design step, which among the requirements are satisfied and which may not be satisfied.

The presented view for rigorous system design has been amply implemented in the BIP (Behavior, Interaction, Priority) component framework and substantiated by numerous experimental results showing both its relevance and feasibility.

The monograph concludes with a discussion advocating a systemcentric vision for computing, identifying possible links with other disciplines, and emphasizing centrality of system design.

DOI:10.1561/1000000034
ISBN: 978-1-60198-660-3
73 pp. $60.00
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ISBN: 978-1-60198-661-0
73 pp. $115.00
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Table of contents:
1: Introduction
2: From Programs to Systems - Significant differences
3: Achieving Correctness
4: Existing Approaches and the State of the Art
5: Four Principles for Rigorous System Design
6: A System-Centric Vision for Computing

Rigorous System Design

Rigorous System Design deals with the formalization of the design of mixed hardware/software systems. It advocates rigorous system design as a coherent and accountable model-based process leading from requirements to correct implementations. It presents the current state of the art in system design, discusses its limitations and identifies possible avenues for overcoming them. A rigorous system design flow is defined as a formal accountable and iterative process composed of steps, and based on four principles: 1) separation of concerns; 2) component-based construction; 3) semantic coherency; 4) correctness-by-construction. The combined application of these principles allows the definition of a methodology clearly identifying where human intervention and ingenuity are needed to resolve design choices, as well as activities that can be supported by tools to automate tedious and error-prone tasks. The presented view for rigorous system design has been amply implemented in the BIP (Behavior, Interaction, Priority) component framework and substantiated by numerous experimental results showing both its relevance and feasibility. Rigorous System Design concludes with a discussion advocating a system-centric vision for computing, identifying possible links with other disciplines and emphasizing centrality of system design. It is an ideal primer for researchers and practitioners interested in the design of mixed hardware/software systems.

 
EDA-034