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Embedded critical systems pose particularly difficult problems in writing and validating software requirements. Often, the interfaces between the software and the embedding environment are a major source of costly errors. At an abstract level, we can view an embedded control system as a collection of physically distinct components communicating over unidirectional communication channels. This view is adopted in the Requirements State Machine Language (RSML), which was used successfully to model TCAS II, a large commercial avionics system that the US Federal Aviation Administration requires on all aircraft with more than 30 seats. This work extends and refines RSML to support rigorous specification and analysis of system-level intercomponent communication. It does this using a formalism that defines interfaces as well as input and output variables. The authors have also developed a set of prototype tools supporting the analysis of system level intercomponent communication.

M. P. Heimdahl, J. M. Thompson and B. J. Czerny, "Specification and Analysis of Intercomponent Communication," in Computer, vol. 31, no. , pp. 47-54, 1998.
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