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CSC8105 : System Validation (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Maciej Koutny
  • Owning School: Computing
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To introduce basic formal techniques and computer aided verification topics relevant to the design and validation of concurrent and distributed computing systems.
To introduce methods and algorithms aimed at coping with the high complexity of concurrent and distributed designs.
To become familiar with an industrial strength protocol specification language and validation tool

Outline Of Syllabus

The role of formal techniques supporting specification and computer aided verification in the design and validation of concurrent and distributed computing systems.
Automata based models for the verification of behavioural properties of concurrent and distributed computing systems.
Verification techniques based on the state space exploration: coping with the state space explosion problem.
Examples of other verification techniques, such as bisimulation.
High level specification and computer aided verification of communication protocols.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion220:3011:00Revision for end of Semester exam & exam duration
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture161:0016:00Lectures PIP
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion181:0018:00Lecture follow-up
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical141:0014:00practicals (PIP)
Guided Independent StudyProject work281:0028:00coursework
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study111:0011:00Background reading
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time21:002:00Preparation and guidance related to module coursework (online)
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will be used to introduce the learning material and for demonstrating the key concepts by example. Students are expected to follow-up lectures within a few days by re-reading and annotating lecture notes to aid deep learning.

This is a very practical subject, and it is important that the learning materials are supported by hands-on opportunities provided by practical classes. Students are expected to spend time on coursework outside timetabled practical classes.

Students aiming for 1st class marks are expected to widen their knowledge beyond the content of lecture notes through background reading.

Students should set aside sufficient time to revise for the end of semester exam.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination901A100N/A
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Practical/lab report1MValidation coursework (40 hours
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination is an appropriate way to assess knowledge of the principles and theory of validation technology, as well as testing application skills on small-scale problems. The coursework assessment permits the assessment of practical skills relating to computer-aided validation and tool support on more open-ended problems, as well as formal modelling of concurrent and distributed software systems.

The examination involves the correct interpretation and analysis of precise formal models. Its duration is set to allow time for this to be done accurately.

Study abroad students may request to take their exam before the semester 1 exam period, in which case the length of the exam may differ from that shown in MOFS.

The alternate assessment plan: In case exams cannot run due to Covid, a 24 hour exam will be provided which can be taken from home.

Reading Lists