The ATES project aimed to incorporate advanced techniques in an integrated software development environment within the area of scientific application programming, with particular emphasis on efficiency.

A programming language (ATES), integrating three advanced techniques, was to be developed, incorporating:

-abstraction of data types and operators

-relational database programming for scientific data

-formal specification and proof, defined by taking into account the specificity of scientific programming.

An efficient software development environment was to include a proof subsystem allowing the user to validate an algorithm with respect to some specification, or to get error information if the algorithm is invalid. The adequacy of the whole system was to be evaluated by developing application libraries.

The project aimed to incorporate advanced techniques in an integrated software development environment within the area of scientific application programming, with particular emphasis on efficiency. A programming language, integrating 3 advanced techniques, was developed, incorporating abstraction of data types and operators, relational database programming for scientific data, and formal specification and proof, defined by taking into account the specificity of scientific programming. An efficient software development environment would include a proof subsystem allowing the user to validate an algorithm with respect to some specification, or to get error information if the algorithm is invalid. The adequacy of the whole system was evaluated by developing application libraries. The system consists of an algorithmic programming language derived from Fortran, some program manipulation tools, and an execution environment. The proof system was completed. A specification language was designed, allowing the semantics of the user's operators, including selectors and iterators, to be defined. The method uses models like the vector dominance model (VDM) and the preconditions and postconditions of the operators. The conditions are expressed in the VDM models and use predicates of the first order logic. Axiom chapters give properties of the models. A proof language allows a description to be given of how one type implements another type giving a so called 'abstract function'. Loop invariants can also be given to the system. Generation of verification conditions has been defined using Hoare's logic and the semantics of the programming language. The architecture of the whole system was also designed. Several applications of the library and proof system to finite element method demonstrated.

ATES was initially based on the 4X programming system. It consists of an algorithmic programming language derived from Fortran, some program manipulation tools, and an execution environment.

The ATES proof system was completed. A specification language was designed, allowing the semantics of the user's operators, including selectors and iterators, to be defined. The method uses models like VDM and the pre- and post-conditions of the operators. The conditions are expressed in the VDM models and use predicates of the first-order logic. Axiom chapters give properties of the models. A proof language allows a description to be given of how one type implements another type giving a so-called "abstract function". Loop invariants can be also given to the system. Generation of verification conditions has been defined using Hoare's logic and the semantics of the programming language. The architecture of the whole system was also designed.

Several applications of the ATES library and proof system to finite element method were demonstrated.

The present interest of ATES for scientific developers lies in its capacity to:

-allow more reliability and confidence in the development, being either formal at the specification or at the proof level

-act as an appropriate environment for scientists and mathematicians

-increase productivity, in particular during the maintenance phase, by the use of the libraries

It is now planned to have a tape (running the ATES version of 4X, and including the proof system) and user manuals are available since the end of 1990.

An information dissemination workshop was held in June 1990, and 25 industrial representatives participated.

A book presenting the ATES results has been published in the "ESPRIT series" of Springer Verlag.

Exploitation

Industrial and commercial use of both the applications and the ATES system are currently planned by the consortium.