SYSTEMS VERIFICATION - 2024/5
Module code: COM3028
The course is an introduction in formal methods for system specification and verification.
It will focus on logic-based formalisms and techniques, and specifically on model checking.
The main logics taught will be temporal logics, which are mainstream in verification, especially analysis of hardware systems.
Other logics and verification techniques (such as theorem proving) will be included to a smaller extended.
Model checkers will be used in the labs, on different system-verification problems.
Elements of building model checking tools will be presented and explored.
Some elements of advanced verification techniques (e.g., abstraction) will be mentioned.
Computer Science and Electronic Eng
BOUREANU Ioana (CS & EE)
Number of Credits: 15
ECTS Credits: 7.5
Framework: FHEQ Level 6
Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A
Overall student workload
Independent Learning Hours: 100
Lecture Hours: 11
Tutorial Hours: 10
Laboratory Hours: 8
Guided Learning: 10
Captured Content: 11
Prerequisites / Co-requisites
The content (topics of lectures, tutorials and labs) follow:
1. Introduction + Introduction to System Verification
2. Basic Modal Concepts
Tutorial -- Modal specifications and satisfaction
3. The logics LTL and CTL
Tutorial -- LTL and CTL
4. The logics LTL vs CTL cont'd (expressivity) + The logic of CTL*
Tutorial -- LTL and CTL (cont’d)
5. Advanced Temporal Specifications Examples
Lab -- on the introduction to a model checker
6. System-Modelling Examples
7. Hoare Logic
Lab -- Dafny
8. Explicit Model Checking
Tutorial -- Explicit model checking
9. Binary Decision Diagrams (BDDs)
Tutorial -- Binary Decision Diagrams
Lab -- on using/manipulating BDDs
10. Symbolic Model Checking
Lab -- on further, more advanced usage of a model checker
11. Non-classical Logics - Part I
12. Revision week
|Unit of assessment
The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate that they have achieved the module learning outcomes.
Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:
· First individual coursework on temporal logic and explicit model checking. This addresses LO1 and LO2.
· Second individual coursework on applied non-classical logics, symbolic model checking of temporal logics and/or other verification techniques for applied logics (e.g., program verification with Hoare logic) . This addresses LO1 and LO2.
· A 2h unseen examination on the whole course content. This addresses LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4.
The individual pieces of coursework will be due around week 5 and 10 respectively. There will be five labs and the best four submissions of the total five will be considered towards the lab component of the mark. The exam will take place at the end of the semester during the exam period.
Formative assessment and feedback
1. PollEverywhere or other interactive polling methods will be used in the lectures with each lecture consisting of a number of slides explaining the theory followed by a number of slides gauging the students’ understanding. The answers are discussed when necessary, e.g., if a high proportion (more than 25%) of the students got the answer wrong.
2. Individual formative feedback will also be given during the lab sessions, and as part of the summative assessment.
- Introducing formal methods for system specification and verification
- Focus on logic-based techniques for system verification, particularly model checking
- Give a flavour of advanced model checking techniques and of other verification methods, such as theorem proving
|Understand the use of temporal logic and, to some extend, other logics as formal specification languages
|Understand and use verification algorithms such as the ones based on SAT (satisfiability of logic formulae) and/or using ordered-binary-decision diagrams
|Learn how to use of a model checker and, potentially, a theorem prover to verify systems against formal specifications
|Appreciate the limitations of current techniques and develop a basic understanding of research directions in this space
C - Cognitive/analytical
K - Subject knowledge
T - Transferable skills
P - Professional/Practical skills
Methods of Teaching / Learning
The learning and teaching strategy is designed to develop a critical understanding of the foundations of systems verification, facilitating self-directed further studying in this field.
The skills learned in this module will be transferable to other verification techniques, such as program analysis.
Also developing critical thinking is at the core of this module.
The learning and teaching methods include:
- Lectures -- 11h (11 face-to-face flipped-lecture style lectures )
- Captured Content -- 11h (11h of recorded material, i.e., recorded presentations with the slides available)
- Tutorials -- 10h (5 theory-oriented tutorials at 2h each, preferably face-to-face)
- Labs -- 8h (4 practice-oriented labs at 2h each, preferably face-to-face)
- Guided learning -- 10h (tests and interaction on Surrey Learn)
- Independent Learning -- 100h (student study the material outside the settings above)
Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: COM3028
This module teaches student the theory and practical skills to reason about the correctness of computer programs. The module builds on earlier technical modules such as COM1026 (Foundations of Computing) to provide students with a way model a program mathematically and tools to assess its correctness. These are digital skills that are highly valued in some industries where safety critical systems rely on the correctness of a computer program.
This module provides foundational theory to reason about correctness of computer systems and programs which is highly valued and, in the last decade, often used in industry. In particular, this is of paramount importance to industries that work with safety-critical systems, e.g., aviation, automotive, satellite. Students are equipped with theoretical and practical problem-solving skills, and transferable mathematical and theoretical computer-science knowledge that allow them to analysis in theory and in practice (via tools) the formal correctness of complex systems of various types, e.g., high-level designs, software, communication protocols. All of this is highly valuable to employers for different roles: system architects, software developers, testers.
Global and Cultural Skills
Computer Science is a global language and the tools and languages used on this module can be used internationally. This module allows students to develop skills that will allow them to develop applications with global reach and collaborate with their peers around the world.
Resourcefulness and Resilience
This module involves practical problem-solving skills that teach a student how to reason about and solve new unseen problems through combining the foundation theory taught with practical technologies for systems that are in everyday use. Students will have exposure to new tools that will allow them to approach this complex problem of correctness in a new way.
Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2024/5 academic year.