Using Mobile TLA as a Logic for Dynamic I/O Automata

Tatjana KAPUS  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E92-D    No.8    pp.1515-1522
Publication Date: 2009/08/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.E92.D.1515
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Fundamentals of Software and Theory of Programs
Keyword: 
dynamic input/output automata,  mobile agent system,  formal specification,  spatio-temporal logic,  

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Summary: 
Input/Output (I/O) automata and the Temporal Logic of Actions (TLA) are two well-known techniques for the specification and verification of concurrent systems. Over the past few years, they have been extended to the so-called dynamic I/O automata and, respectively, Mobile TLA (MTLA) in order to be more appropriate for mobile agent systems. Dynamic I/O automata is just a mathematical model, whereas MTLA is a logic with a formally defined language. In this paper, therefore, we investigate how MTLA could be used as a formal language for the specification of dynamic I/O automata. We do this by writing an MTLA specification of a travel agent system which has been specified semi-formally in the literature on that model. In this specification, we deal with always existing agents as well as with an initially unknown number of dynamically created agents, with mobile and non-mobile agents, with I/O-automata-style communication, and with the changing communication capabilities of mobile agents. We have previously written a TLA specification of this system. This paper shows that an MTLA specification of such a system can be more elegant and faithful to the dynamic I/O automata definition because the agent existence and location can be expressed directly by using agent and location names instead of special variables as in TLA. It also shows how the reuse of names for dynamically created and destroyed agents within the dynamic I/O automata framework can be specified in MTLA.