Team, Visitors, External Collaborators
Overall Objectives
Research Program
Application Domains
Highlights of the Year
New Software and Platforms
New Results
Bilateral Contracts and Grants with Industry
Partnerships and Cooperations
XML PDF e-pub
PDF e-Pub

Section: New Results

New Formal Languages and their Implementations

LOTOS and LNT Specification Languages

Participants : Hubert Garavel, Frédéric Lang, Wendelin Serwe.

LNT [6] [31] is a next-generation formal description language for asynchronous concurrent systems. The design of LNT at CONVECS is the continuation of the efforts undertaken in the 80s to define sound languages for concurrency theory and, indeed, LNT is derived from the ISO standards LOTOS (1989) and E-LOTOS (2001). In a nutshell, LNT attempts to combine the best features of imperative programming languages, functional languages, and value-passing process calculi.

LNT is not a frozen language: its definition started in 2005, as part of an industrial project. Since 2010, LNT has been systematically used by CONVECS for numerous case studies (many of which being industrial applications — see § 7.5). LNT is also used as a back-end by other research teams who implement various languages by translation to LNT. It is taught in university courses, e.g., at University Grenoble Alpes and ENSIMAG, where it is positively accepted by students and industry engineers. Based on the feedback acquired by CONVECS, LNT is continuously improved.

In 2019, a new option -depend has been added to the LNT_DEPEND, LNT2LOTOS, and LNT.OPEN tools. LNT_DEPEND now supports the case where the user replaces the predefined LNT modules (e.g., BOOLEAN, NATURAL, etc.) with custom versions. LNT_DEPEND has been made faster and displays better error messages. The LOTOS code generated by LNT2LOTOS for parallel compositions could be semantically incorrect and has been fixed.

We continued working on the TRAIAN compiler for the LOTOS NT language (a predecessor of LNT), which is used for the construction of most CADP compilers and translators.

The version 2.x of TRAIAN that we have been developing for almost 20 years is increasingly difficult to maintain. It consists of a large collection of attribute grammars and is built using the FNC-2 compiler generation system, which is no longer supported. For this reason, TRAIAN 2.x only exists in a 32-bit version, and sometimes hits the 4 GB RAM limit when dealing with large compiler specifications, such as those of LNT2LOTOS or EVALUATOR 5.

For this reason, we undertook in 2018 a complete rewrite of TRAIAN (version 3.0) to get rid of FNC-2. Two main design decisions behind TRAIAN 3.0 are the following: (i) it supports (most of) the LOTOS NT language currently accepted by TRAIAN 2.x, but also extensions belonging to LNT, so as to allow a future migration from LOTOS NT to LNT; and (ii) TRAIAN 3.0 is currently written in LOTOS NT and compiled using TRAIAN 2.x, but should be ultimately capable of bootstrapping itself.

In 2019, we continued the development of TRAIAN 3.0, whose grammar and syntax analysis phase was already almost complete. We fully implemented several static program analysis phases, among which the following:

We also fully implemented the C function generation phase and started to implement the C type generation phase. To avoid problems when switching from TRAIAN 2.x to TRAIAN 3.0, TRAIAN 3.0 generates almost exactly the same code as TRAIAN 2.x. The principal differences concern the numbers used to uniquely identify symbols (variables and functions) in the generated C code, because these are often derived from the syntax tree.

TRAIAN 3.0 is checked regularly against a non-regression test suite consisting of 845 correct and 1545 incorrect programs.

In total, the functionalities that remain to be implemented in TRAIAN 3.0 represent less than 32% of the code of TRAIAN 2.x.

Nested-Unit Petri Nets

Participants : Pierre Bouvier, Hubert Garavel.

Nested-Unit Petri Nets (NUPNs) is a model of computation that can be seen as an upward-compatible extension of P/T nets, which are enriched with structural information on their concurrent and hierarchical structure. Such structural information can easily be produced when NUPNs are generated from higher-level specifications (e.g., process calculi) and allows logarithmic reductions in the number of bits required to represent reachable states, thus enabling verification tools to perform better. For this reason, NUPNs have been so far implemented in thirteen verification tools developed in four countries, and adopted by two international competitions (the Model Checking Contest and the Rigorous Examination of Reactive Systems challenge).

In 2019, a journal article [13] has been published, which formalizes the complete theory of NUPNs.

The development of software tools for NUPNs has steadily progressed. The file format for NUPNs has been enhanced and made more precise; the NUPN_INFO tool has been extended with two new options; the CAESAR.BDD tool as been extended with six new options and its capabilities and efficiency improved in many respects.

We also revisited the problem of decomposing a Petri net into a network of automata, a problem that has been around since the early 70s. We reformulated this problem as the transformation of an ordinary, one-safe Petri net into a unit-safe NUPN. We developed various transformation methods, all of which we implemented in a tool chain that combines NUPN tools with third-party software, such as SAT solvers, SMT solvers, and tools for graph colouring and finding maximal cliques. We performed an extensive evaluation of these methods on a collection of more than 12,000 nets from diverse sources, including nets whose marking graph is too large for being explored exhaustively.

Formal Modeling and Analysis of BPMN

Participant : Gwen Salaün.

A business process is a set of structured activities that provide a certain service or product. Business processes can be modeled using the BPMN (Business Process Model and Notation) standard, and several industrial platforms have been developed for supporting their design, modeling, and simulation.

In collaboration with Francisco Durán (University of Málaga, Spain) and Camilo Rocha (University of Cali, Colombia), we proposed an approach for the modeling and analysis of resource allocation for business processes. Our approach enables the automatic computation of measures for precisely identifying and optimizing the allocation of resources in business processes, including resource usage over time. The proposed analysis, especially suited to support decision-making strategies, is illustrated with a case study of a parcel ordering and delivery by a fleet of drones. This work comprises an encoding of a significant and expressive subset of BPMN in rewriting logic, an executable logic of concurrent change that can naturally deal with states and concurrent computations. The encoding is by itself a formal semantics and interpreter of the BPMN subset that captures all concurrent behavior and thus is used to simulate the concurrent evolution of any business process with a given number of resources and replicas. This work led to two publications, in an international conference [19] and an international journal [12].