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Model-Checking-based vs. SMT-based Consistency Analysis of Industrial Embedded Systems Requirements: Application and Experience


Publication Type:

Journal article


Electronic Communications of the EASST Vol. 75



Industry relies predominantly on manual peer-review techniques for assessing the correctness of system specifications. However, with the ever-increasing size, complexity and intricacy of specifications, it becomes difficult to assure their correctness with respect to certain criteria such as consistency. To address this challenge, a technique called sanity checking has been proposed. The goal of the technique is to assess the quality of the system specification in a systematic and rigorous manner with respect to a formally-defined criterion. Predominantly, the sanity checking criteria, such as for instance consistency, are encoded as reachability or liveness properties which can then be verified via model checking. Recently, a complementary approach for checking the consistency of a system's specification by reducing it to a satisfiability problem that can be analyzed using Satisfiability Modulo Theories has been proposed. In this paper, we compare the two approaches for consistency analysis, by applying them on a relevant industrial use case, using the same definition for consistency and the same set of requirements. Since the bottlenecks of analyzing large systems formally are most often the construction of the model and the time needed to return a verdict, we carry out the comparison with respect to the: i) required effort for generating the analysis model and the latter's complexity, and ii) consistency analysis time. Assuming checking only invariance properties, our results show no significant difference in analysis time between the two approaches when applied on the same system specification under the same definition of consistency. As expected, the main difference between the two comes from the required time and effort of creating the analysis models.


author = {Predrag Filipovikj and Guillermo Rodriguez-Navas and Cristina Seceleanu},
title = {Model-Checking-based vs. SMT-based Consistency Analysis of Industrial Embedded Systems Requirements: Application and Experience},
isbn = {ISSN 1863-2122},
editor = {Anila Mjeda},
volume = {75},
pages = {1--20},
month = {October},
year = {2018},
journal = {Electronic Communications of the EASST Vol. 75},
url = {}