Formalising and analysing the control software of the Compact Muon Solenoid Experiment at the Large Hadron Collider

Y.L. Hwong, J.J.A. Keiren, V.J.J. Kusters, S.J.J. Leemans, T.A.C. Willemse

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Abstract

The control software of the CERN Compact Muon Solenoid experiment contains over 27 500 finite state machines. These state machines are organised hierarchically: commands are sent down the hierarchy and state changes are sent upwards. The sheer size of the system makes it virtually impossible to fully understand the details of its behaviour at the macro level. This is fuelled by unclarities that already exist at the micro level. We have solved the latter problem by formally describing the finite state machines in the mCRL2 process algebra. The translation has been implemented using the ASF+SDF meta-environment, and its correctness was assessed by means of simulations and visualisations of individual finite state machines and through formal verification of subsystems of the control software. Based on the formalised semantics of the finite state machines, we have developed dedicated tooling for checking properties that can be verified on finite state machines in isolation. Keywords: Case study; Process algebra; SML; Bounded model checking; Model transformations
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2435-2452
Number of pages18
JournalScience of Computer Programming
Volume78
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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