Towards a New Formal SDL Semantics Based on Abstract State Machines

U. Glässer, R. Gotzhein, A. Prinz

in: R. Dssouli, G.v. Bochmann, Y. Lahav (Eds.), SDL'99 - The Next Millenium, Proc. of the 9th SDL FORUM, Elsevier Science B.V., Juli 1999


With the year 2000 approaching, a new version of SDL called SDL­2000 is currently reaching maturity, and is expected to pass the standardization bodies shortly. Apart from the usual language maintenance, SDL­2000 will offer new features for exception handling and object­oriented data types. To capture these features formally, a new formal SDL semantics is being devised. In several meetings of ITU­T SG10/Q6, the essential design objectives have been clarified, and an outline of the behaviour model for SDL has been presented and discussed. A major concern in this discussion has been the demand for an executable model, which calls for an operational formalism with readily available tool support. Subsequent investigations have shown that Abstract State Machines (ASMs) meet this and all other design objectives, and therefore have been chosen as the underlying formalism. In this paper, ASMs are applied to define the behaviour model of a sample SDL specification formally, thereby illustrating the approach in general.

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