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 The Breker Trekker

Posts Tagged ‘graph-based verification’

The Secret Decoder Ring for Formal Analysis

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

Those of us of a certain age will remember the secret decoder rings promoted by various products and TV shows. They generally used a simple substitution code to map letters to numbers. According to Wikipedia these have been offered as recently as 2000, so perhaps they are known to younger readers as well. What’s germane to today’s blog post is that formal services company Oski Technology has cleverly used this device as a graphical element in promoting its “Decoding Formal” Club series.

I’ve reported before from these events, which I believe have been very effective at advocating for formal analysis, sharing tricks and techniques, and demystifying what was once regarded as an arcane academic approach to verification. Last week I attended another Decoding Formal Club forum and, as usual, was impressed by the depth of the presentations. Since formal is always a popular topic among readers of The Breker Trekker, I’m going to share a few highlights from that afternoon.

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Decoding Formal Club Unlocks Some Mysteries

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

Last May, I published two blog posts on the presentations made at a “Decoding Formal Club” event hosted by the smart folks from Oski Technology at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. With everything else going on, I didn’t manage to make it to another of their regular meetings until last week. The first event of 2015 was very interesting, so again I’m returning to the popular topic of formal analysis and playing reporter. The line between media and blogging is rather thin these days anyway.

This edition of Decoding Formal featured three talks, one an end-user case study and the other two  instructional in nature from well-known formal experts. I found all three worthwhile and will do my best to communicate some of the main points made. I also have to mention the final presentation, more a performance than a talk, by the inimitable and irrepressible Clifford Stoll. Lately he’s been manufacturing and selling Klein bottles, which you may remember from a geometry teacher trying to mess with your mind.

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Half-Time Report from DVCon in San Jose

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

As we write this post, it’s Tuesday evening and the Design & Verification Conference & Exhibition 2014, DVCon, is halfway over. We could be traditional and have a college marching band entertain us and form schematic diagrams on the field as we wait for the show to resume. We could hire some entertainer whose appeal has faded and who’s willing to do half-time shows to try to resurrect his or her career. But instead we’re going to settle for a simple report.

Monday evening featured, for the first time, an early look at the exhibition floor. DVCon reported that the show has a record number of exhibitors this year, and in fact they spilled out of the DoubleTree ballroom into the lobby. In a time when so many conferences are shrinking, the news that DVCon is growing is most welcome.

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