March 3rd – March 8th 2002, Dagstuhl Seminar 02101

Theory and Application of Abstract State Machines


A. Blass (Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI, USA), E. Börger (Univ. di Pisa, Italy), Y. Gurevich (Microsoft Research, Redmond WA, USA)

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List of Participants
Dagstuhl-Seminar-Report 336


Tommaso Bolognesi sent us a link to his pictures taken during seminar 02101:

Abstract / Motivation:

The advances in the theory, the tool development, and the progressive industrial employment of Abstract State Machines (ASMs) in the 90's have turned ASMs into a practical technique for disciplined rigorous software engineering in the large, see We invite ASM researchers and industrial users of ASMs, with the intention to strengthen the interaction between theory and practice and to enhance a fruitful technology transfer. The seminar is intended to survey and critically evaluate the current academic and industrial developments, and to identify new challenges for ASM modeling and analysis, coming in particular from object-oriented and component based design techniques for distributed systems, software architecture patterns, mobile computing, and security needs.

SMs offer a certain number of theoretically well founded and industrially useful methods that support the entire software development cycle. These include rigorous modeling, analysis and validation methods a) for the requirements, during the early phases of industrial software development, and b) for the refinement of the high level models through a design process which reliably connects the requirements to the code. It will be evaluated how, via executable ground models, ASMs support the elicitation, specification, inspection and testing of requirements. Particular attention will be paid to how ASMs can enhance state-of-the-art code testing methods, by providing model based sample techniques, oracles, and comparators. It will also be studied how the stepwise refinement of ASMs to executable code, in particular decomposition and structuring of large machines, support a practical documentation discipline for code maintenance and reuse.

The participants are invited to present a few plenary talks and demos of new tools, beside which the seminar will provide ample opportunities for small working groups on themes suggested by the participants. We expect the seminar to result in further cross-fertilization between research and practical applications of ASMs and in showing directions for further integration of ASMS into current system engineering methods. We plan to collect, after the seminar, revised and refereed versions of major contributions to the seminar into a publication.

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