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home · events · colloquia · 1995-1996 · 

Colloquium - Rosenblum


A Specification-Based Approach to Automated Fault Detection
AT&T Research
David Rosenblum photo

Program annotation languages have been proposed as a potentially powerful tool for automatic runtime detection and isolation of software faults during debugging, testing, and production use of software systems. An annotation language is used to annotate a program with a formal specification of its intended behavior. The annotations are then translated into checking code to produce a "self-checking" version of the program -- that is, a version of the program that automatically checks its execution behavior for consistency with its specification.

Annotation languages have seen little use in development practice, primarily because (1) previous annotation support tools did not interoperate easily and flexibly with existing development environments, and (2) there has been little experience reported on what kinds of annotations are most effective at revealing and isolating faults.

In this talk I will describe an annotation processing tool that I designed to address the problems of ease-of-use and effectiveness. The tool is called APP, an Annotation PreProcessor for C programs developed in UNIX development environments. I will illustrate the annotation language and runtime support features of APP, and I will describe some experience in applying APP to the development of a 12,000-line client-server system.

David Rosenblum is a member of the technical staff in the Software Engineering Research Department at AT&T Research in Murray Hill, New Jersey. His research interests include software testing and analysis, formal specification languages, specification-based software development tools, and software process. He received a PhD in Electrical Engineering in 1988 from Stanford University, where he participated in the Anna and TSL specification language projects under the direction of David Luckham. He was born in Dallas, Texas, and did his undergraduate work at North Texas State University, in Denton. He is a member of ACM and IEEE. He recently served on the program committees of the 1994 and 1996 International Symposia on Software Testing and Analysis and is a member of the program committee the 1997 International Conference on Software Engineering.

The Department holds colloquia throughout the Fall and Spring semesters. These colloquia, open to the public, are typically held on Thursday afternoons, but sometimes occur at other times as well. If you would like to receive email notification of upcoming colloquia, subscribe to our Colloquia Mailing List. If you would like to schedule a colloquium, see Colloquium Scheduling.

Sign language interpreters are available upon request. Please contact Stephanie Morris at least five days prior to the colloquium.

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