Realizability and verification of MSC graphs

Rajeev Alur, Kousha Etessami, Mihalis Yannakakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Scenario-based specifications such as message sequence charts (MSC) offer an intuitive and visual way to describe design requirements. MSC-graphs allow convenient expression of multiple scenarios, and can be viewed as an early model of the system that can be subjected to a variety of analyses. Problems such as LTL model checking are undecidable for MSC-graphs in general, but are known to be decidable for the class of bounded MSC-graphs.

Our first set of results concerns checking realizability of bounded MSC-graphs. An MSC-graph is realizable if there is a distributed implementation that generates precisely the behaviors in the graph. There are two notions of realizability, weak and safe, depending on whether or not we require the implementation to be deadlock-free. It is known that for a finite set of MSCs, weak realizability is coNP-complete while safe realizability has a polynomial-time solution. We establish that for bounded MSC-graphs, weak realizability is, surprisingly, undecidable, while safe realizability is in EXPSPACE.

Our second set of results concerns verification of MSC-graphs. While checking properties of a graph GG, besides verifying all the scenarios in the set L(G)L(G) of MSCs specified by GG, it is desirable to verify all the scenarios in the set Lw(G)Lw(G)—the closure of GG, that contains the implied scenarios that any distributed implementation of GG must include. For checking whether a given MSC MM is a possible behavior, checking M∈L(G)M∈L(G) is NP-complete, but checking M∈Lw(G)M∈Lw(G) has a quadratic solution. For temporal logic specifications, considering the closure makes the verification problem harder: while checking LTL properties of L(G)L(G) is PSPACE-complete for bounded graphs GG, checking even simple “local” properties of Lw(G)Lw(G) is undecidable.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-114
Number of pages18
JournalTheoretical Computer Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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