Improving the Accessibility of Lightweight Formal Verification Systems
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Citation (published version)Lapets, Andrei. "Improving the accessibility of lightweight formal verification systems", Technical Report BUCS-TR-2009-015, Computer Science Department, Boston University, April 30, 2009. [Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/2144/1739]
In research areas involving mathematical rigor, there are numerous benefits to adopting a formal representation of models and arguments: reusability, automatic evaluation of examples, and verification of consistency and correctness. However, broad accessibility has not been a priority in the design of formal verification tools that can provide these benefits. We propose a few design criteria to address these issues: a simple, familiar, and conventional concrete syntax that is independent of any environment, application, or verification strategy, and the possibility of reducing workload and entry costs by employing features selectively. We demonstrate the feasibility of satisfying such criteria by presenting our own formal representation and verification system. Our system’s concrete syntax overlaps with English, LATEX and MediaWiki markup wherever possible, and its verifier relies on heuristic search techniques that make the formal authoring process more manageable and consistent with prevailing practices. We employ techniques and algorithms that ensure a simple, uniform, and flexible definition and design for the system, so that it easy to augment, extend, and improve.