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State-Based versus Event-Based Specifications for Information Systems: a Comparison of B and EB3

Abstract : This paper compares two formal methods, B and eb3, for specifying information systems. These two methods are chosen as examples of the state-based paradigm and the event-based paradigm, respectively. The paper considers four viewpoints: functional behavior expression, validation, verification, and evolution. Issues in expressing event ordering constraints, data integrity constraints, and modularity are thereby considered. A simple case study is used to illustrate the comparison, namely, a library management system. Two equivalent specifications are presented using each method. The paper concludes that B and eb3 are complementary. The former is better at expressing complex ordering and static data integrity constraints, whereas the latter provides a simpler, modular, explicit representation of dynamic constraints that are closer to the user's point of view, while providing loosely coupled definitions of data attributes. The generality of these results from the state-based paradigm and the event-based paradigm perspective are discussed.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 15, 2007 - 4:40:33 PM
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Benoît Fraikin, Marc Frappier, Régine Laleau. State-Based versus Event-Based Specifications for Information Systems: a Comparison of B and EB3. Software and Systems Modeling, Springer Verlag, 2005, 4 (3), pp.236-257. ⟨hal-00145961⟩

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