Demonstration from the Final Workshop

To follow the demonstration, you should download the following archive, including a version of stvs, geteta, rvt. Also consider to download the model checker nuXmv, for running the verification.



Welcome to the demonstration of two tools implementing two approaches developed in IMPROVE APS. They reflect the two side of formal analysis of evolution of APS software: There are behavioural aspects that should be retained. We use ReVe4PLC to show that this is the case. And there are new behavioural apsects which need to be specified and verified. We use our ST verification studio to do so.

Regression Verification


Let’s start with an evolution scenario of the PPU (12 to 13 for the insiders). Originally, the position of the crane was reported using 3 switches at the respective positions of the crane: magazine, conveyer, stamp. Assume that this was too imprecise. The designers decided to replace the sensors by a single angular sensor (a potentiometer).

Of course the software needed to be adapted for this hardware change as the type of sensor values changed. (3 booleans vs. one integer).

When running the plant, the two plants should not be distinguishable. We could run some tests to that this is so in these cases.

However, we want to cover all possible cases and therefore undergo a static analysis of the code running the two systems and compare it. They cannot be equivalent as they have different input signals.

Indeed, a relation on the inputs needs to be given which defines which input values correspond for the two code revisions. Position C for instance corresponds to the angle range between 87 and 93 degrees. Likewise the others. Assuming this relation on the inputs, the code revisions must produce the same output. That’s our verification goal.

Now let us look at the code to be verified.

You can the source code here: Scenario 12: Crane, Scenario 13: Crane and the library function.

This is the crane model of the PPU implementation: an SFC with 63 states. Although not terribly complex, this is already a size at which it is easy to miss a mistake.

The first step of our tool chain is to normalise this code to imperative code in ST (500 loc).

The same can be done with the second revision of the code which is similar – with some local changes.


dist/bin/rvt                          \
    -L                     \
    --old --old-name Crane \
    --new --new-name Crane \
    --miter UNTIL --until-miter-cond inputconstraint.smv \

/usr/bin/time \
    /home/weigl/share/nuXmv-1.1.1-Linux/bin/nuXmv -source commands.xmv \

Our regression verification tool is a command line tool. This is the command to invoke it:

$ cd demo/rvt-aps && ./

We specify the two programs (rev. 12 and 13) and the relation for the inputs to produce the input for the model checker.With that we invoke the model checker (can be done in one call).

*** This is nuXmv 1.1.1 (compiled on Wed Jun  1 10:18:42 2016)
*** Copyright (c) 2014-2016, Fondazione Bruno Kessler
Number of bits: 333 (0 frozen, 33 input, 300 state)
-- no proof or counterexample found with bound 40
-- invariant (__miter__.premise -> ((((((__miter__.inner.eq_MagazinVacuumOff_MagazinVacuumOff & __miter__.inner.eq_CraneTurnClockwise_CraneTurnClockwise) & __miter__.inner.eq_CraneLower_CraneLower) & __miter__.inner.eq_CraneTurnCounterclockwise_CraneTurnCounterclockwise) & __miter__.inner.eq_StartCommandCrane_StartCommandCrane) & __miter__.inner.eq_MagazinVacuumOn_MagazinVacuumOn) & __miter__.inner.eq_AnalogCranePressure_AnalogCranePressure))  is true

We use nuxmv, a state-of-the-art model checker, which is particularly good at inferring invariants.

This will take a while.

We have verified the evolution scenarios of the original PPU using our approach – with runtimes betwen a few minutes and several hours.

We have since extended our approach with a modularisation concept which allows us to consider modules separately (like here the crane) which shortens the verification time considerably.

In the reuslt, we can see that the invariant – which encodes the wanted equivalence – is true. Hooray, the two programs are equivalent as specified.

This is how we deal with behaviour which is to remain unchanged.

ST Verification Studio

$ java -jar stverificationstudio-all-1.4.0-beta.jar
Note: On first start of STVS, you need to configure the paths to nuXmv and geteta (under File, Preferences or Ctrl-,).
Start with table No Warning

It’s different when new behaviour is to be introduced. Here we need an understandable specifciation language, and a verification system with good user feedback.

As mentioned earlier in the presentation, we have invented generalised test tables for precisely that reason.

Our implementation of a user-friendly system for such tables is the Verificaiton Studio. On the left you can see the code that we are operating on. On the right hand side, you can edit the table and you get feedback on the verification effort.

In this demo, we will not look at a plant, but at a basic component as often used in systems: A component which limits a value to a range given by a minimum and a maximum value. Since gtts are good for specification, I would like to explain their usage by means of such tables.

Test tables describe component runs over a number of clock cycles. They do not describe individual runs, but families of similar runs, which are parametrised.

Here we see a table, I is the input, an integer, and Q is the output. This table describes a scenario in which the component is trained to its minimum/maximum values p and q, and then run within these bounds.

At first, the system runs for a while, before initialisation, the output is expected to be 0. Then we switch into learning mode, training the values p and q and some values in between.

Then switching back to normal mode, if only values within [p,q] arrive as inputs, they are replicated as outputs. No warning.

We can use this table as runtime monitor, to generate test cases or to do formal verification. We can do this, pressing the button up there.


The verification succeeds: Any instance of the generalised table is satisfied by the implementation.

Show second table: Warning

Another table for a different use case: Here the range [o,q] is learned, but the input value violates this: A warning is expected.

However, verification reveals that the implementation does not satisfy this case. We get shown a counterexample trace violating the table. Both as values, and as a timing diagram.

Debugging reveals that the implementation is buggy. It initialises min and max to 0 – if the values are negative, this makes the implementation fail.

This concludes the demonstration of our two tools for verification in evolution: regression verification and gtts.