The High-Assurance Software Laboratory (HASLab) of the School of Engineering is the coordinator of the SpecRep (Constraint-based Specification Repair) project, which aims to promote the correct formal specification of software components necessary for the development of reliable software.
This type of software is increasingly used in critical systems, that is, systems where failures can generate financial, personal and physical problems. In this sense, software validation and verification are essential and depend on the correct specification of the expected behavior, but writing them requires more advanced formal knowledge.
“The result of this project will be the development of techniques and the implementation in tools that, during the formal specification of software components, automatically detect failures and are able to suggest corrections,” explains Nuno Macedo, the HASLab researcher coordinating the project.
The technologies developed in SpecRep, which differ in that they focus on repairing specifications rather than programs, will be openly available to the entire community and will contain intuitive, user-friendly suggestions.
“The techniques proposed in SpecRep will support non-specialized programmers in this process, promoting the development of secure software,” adds Nuno Macedo. On the other hand, they can also support future experts in trusted techniques during the early stages of learning.
This project was recently approved by the Foundation for Science and Technology, with a funding of 50 thousand euros, and started this month.