Model-based design verifier

Model-based design methodology allows developers of embedded systems—especially safety-critical or complex designs—to automatically obtain test cases to satisfy industry-standard metrics, such as modified condition/decision coverage (MC/DC), while uncovering design errors earlier in the development process when they are significantly less expensive to fix.

By Control Engineering Staff July 26, 2007

Natick, MA—Model-based design methodology allows developers of embedded systems—especially safety-critical or complex designs—to automatically obtain test cases to satisfy industry-standard metrics, such as modified condition/decision coverage (MC/DC), while uncovering design errors earlier in the development process when they are significantly less expensive to fix. Simulation, a key activity of model-based design, enables engineers to obtain insight into system behavior, tune parameters for optimal performance, and ensure that their design behaves as intended. The MathWorks ‘ Simulink design verifier, which generates tests and proves design properties for Simulink and Stateflow models using the Prover plug-in from Prover Technology, augments simulation with verification and validation technology based on formal methods that significantly reduces the need to hand code tests for establishing complete model coverage and verifying requirements. Engineers can generate test inputs that satisfy standard coverage objectives as well as user-defined test objectives and requirements. These test inputs can also be combined with tests defined using measured data so that simulations are testing against model coverage requirements, and real-world scenarios.For property proving, engineers can directly capture design requirements and performance objectives as properties in Simulink or Stateflow models. Simulink design verifier mathematically proves whether those properties are satisfied and, if not, provides counterexamples that would violate the properties. As a result, engineers can find design flaws, unsatisfied requirements, and unreachable states or logic that would be difficult to uncover using simulation alone.“Model-Based Design is becoming widely used for embedded system development, moving from R&D and proof-of-concept projects into production programs,” said Paul Barnard, marketing director of design automation at The MathWorks. “With this shift, customers have a critical need for verification, validation, and testing tools that Simulink design verifier helps to address.”The software incorporates the Prover plug-in proof engine from Prover Technology, which automatically generates test cases and counterexamples. It also performs proofs by using automated mathematical reasoning to explore model execution paths. Such systematic analysis complements simulation and provides deeper insight into the behavior of designs.“We worked closely with The MathWorks to extend our Prover plug-in interface to handle the dynamic systems that are typically modeled in Simulink and Stateflow,” said Marcus Tallhamn, chief marketing officer at Prover Technology. “We are proud to be part of a tool that enables embedded system developers to perform state-of-the-art formal verification without formal-methods expertise.”Simulink Design Verifier is available immediately for the Microsoft Windows and Linux platforms. U.S. list prices start at $8,000.— Edited by C.G. Masi , senior editor