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Proof and specification assisted design environments


Existing proof tools need experts in logic and are not integrated into established design flows. PROSPER aims to develop the technology needed to overcome this barrier. We have the concrete objective of producing two prototype design tools, one for hardware and one for software, each providing user-friendly access to formal techniques.

The two design tools will be built by integrating theorem proving technology into existing systems. One will link theorem proving support to the VDM-SL (CASE) toolbox of our industrial partner IFAD; the other will provide proof support for the industry-standard (CAD) languages Verilog and VHDL via a common hardware verification workbench.

A further objective is to deliver practical knowledge of how best to feed the benefits of these next-generation tools into conventional design flows.
The specific results of PROSPER will be:
1. prototype design tools: an enhanced VDM-SL tool for software, and a VHDL/Verilog tool for hardware;
2. user-friendly interfaces: for requirements, using natural language and timing diagrams, for proof via a GUI;
3. an extensible open proof architecture: a core proof engine, easily integrated with other tools via an API;
4. technology transfer: application case studies, publications, workshops and an exploitation plan.

The novel scientific contribution will be the mechanisms to introduce formal reasoning into CAD/CASE systems, based around a new open proof architecture, incorporating an industrial-strength proof engine supported by efficient plug-in proof tools and new specification interfaces.

Impact and Exploitation.
A strong need among end-users has resulted in the identification of requirements for PROSPER technology by commercial tool builders, including our industrial partners IFAD (Denmark) and Prover Technology AB (Sweden). In addition to laying the foundation for new and enhanced European CAD/CASE tools, PROSPER's results will open up new possibilities to add value to tools originating outside the EU.
The PROSPER project will research and develop the technology needed to deliver the benefits of mechanised formal specification and verification to system designers in industry. Examples of the next generation of CAD and CASE tools will be produced, incorporating user-friendly access to formal techniques. An open proof architecture created to underpin these tools will provide the basis for other innovative design tools in the future.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


University of Glasgow
James Watt Building, Univ. Avenue
G12 8QQ Glasgow
United Kingdom

Participants (5)

Instituttet for Anvendt Datateknik
Forskerparken 10
5230 Odense M
Np Technology Ab
Swedensborggatan 2
11848 Stockholm
United Kingdom
Trinity Lane, The Old Schools,
CB2 1TN Cambridge
University of Edinburgh
United Kingdom
Old College South Bridge
EH1 1HN Edinburgh
Universität Karlsruhe
Kaiserstr. 12
76131 Karlsruhe