Using relative refinement for fault tolerance
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A general refinement methodology is presented based on ideas of Stark, and it is explained how these can be used for the systematic development of fault-tolerant systems. Highlights are: (1) A detailed and comprehensive exposition of Stark's temporal logic and development methodology. (2) A formalization of a general systematic approach to the development of fault-tolerant systems, accomplishing increasing degrees of coverage with each successive refinement stage. That is, faults are already identified and modeled at the first implementation level, which is shown to be a relative refinement, i.e., correct for all computations in which faults do not occur. The second implementation is a fail-stop implementation, i.e., an implementation that stops on the first detected occurrence of a fault. This implementation is also a relative refinement, i.e., correct in all computations in which the program never stops. The final implementation is correct in all computations, except those that display severe faults that violate the fault-tolerance assumptions, such as all n components failing in an n-way redundant way in case of stable storage. (3) A detailed example of a multi-disk system providing stable storage, illustrating this general methodology.
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