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Constructing Submodule Specifications and Network Protocols
November 1988 (vol. 14 no. 11)
pp. 1565-1577

Applications of an automated tool for module specification (ATMS) that finds the specification for a submodule of a system are presented. Given the specification of a system, together with the specification for n-1 submodules, the ATMS constructs the specification for the nth addition submodule such that the interaction among the n submodules is equivalent to the specification of the system. The implementation of the technique is based on an approach proposed by P. Merlin and G.B. Bochmann (1983). The specification of a system and its submodules consists of all possible execution sequences of their individual operations. The ATMS uses finite-state machine concepts to represent the specifications and interactions of the system and its submodules. The specification found by the ATMS for a missing module of a system is the most general one, if one exists. Application of the ATMS in the area of communication protocols is discussed. A manual process to find the specification for a missing module using the Merlin-Bochmann technique is time-consuming and prone to errors. The automated tool presented proves a reliable method for constructing such a module.

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Index Terms:
formal specification; submodule specifications; network protocols; automated tool; module specification; execution sequences; finite-state machine; communication protocols; finite automata; formal specification; protocols; software tools
Citation:
D.P. Sidhu, J. Aristizabal, "Constructing Submodule Specifications and Network Protocols," IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 14, no. 11, pp. 1565-1577, Nov. 1988, doi:10.1109/32.9045
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