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    A Simple Algorithm Specification Language and its Application

    1st Irish Workshop on Formal Methods

    Dublin, Ireland. 3rd - 4th July 1997


    J. Herbert


    A pragmatic approach to algorithm specification and verification is presented. The language AL provides a level of abstraction between a mathematical specification notation and a programming language, supporting compact but expressive algorithm description.

    Proofs of correctness about algorithms written in AL can be done via an embedding of the semantics of the language in a proof system; implementations of algorithms can be done through translation to standard programming languages.

    The proofs of correctness are more tractable than direct verification of programming language code; descriptions in AL are more easily related to executable programs than standard mathematical specifications.

    AL provides an independent, portable description which can be related to different proof systems and different programming languages.

    Several interfaces have been explored and tools for fully automatic translation of AL specifications into the HOL logic and Standard ML executable code have been implemented.

    A substantial case study uses AL as the common specification language from which both the formal proofs of correctness and executable code have been produced.


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