State Diagram Matrix for Hierarchical Specification of Reactive System

Tomohiro MURATA

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences   Vol.E76-A    No.10    pp.1591-1597
Publication Date: 1993/10/25
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8508
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Nets-Oriented Software Specification and Design)
state-transition,  sequential machine model,  state abstraction,  reactive system,  specification,  

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Reactive systems respond to internal or external stimuli and act in an event-driven manner. It is generally difficult to specify a complex reactive systems' behavior using conventional state machine formalism. One reason is that actual reactive systems are usually formed by combining plural state-machince that behave concurretly. This paper presents the State Diagram Matrix (SDM) which is a visual and hierarchical formalism of such a reactive system's behavior. SDM has two concepts. The first is matrix plane description on which 3-dimensional state space is projected. The second is state abstraction for hierarchical state-machine definition. Understandability and reliability of control software was improved as a consequence of adopting SDM for specifying disk-subsystem control requirements. The development support functions of SDM using a workstation are also described.