Proving a Computer Program's Correctness
This is interesting:
Professor Gernot Heiser, the John Lions Chair in Computer Science in the School of Computer Science and Engineering and a senior principal researcher with NICTA, said for the first time a team had been able to prove with mathematical rigour that an operating-system kernel—the code at the heart of any computer or microprocessor—was 100 per cent bug-free and therefore immune to crashes and failures.
Don't expect this to be practical any time soon:
Verifying the kernel—known as the seL4 microkernel—involved mathematically proving the correctness of about 7,500 lines of computer code in an project taking an average of six people more than five years.
That's 250 lines of code verified per man-year. Both Linux and Windows have something like 50 million lines of code; verifying that would take 200,000 man-years, assuming no increased complexity resulting from the increased complexity. Clearly some efficiency improvements are required.
Posted on October 2, 2009 at 7:01 AM • 91 Comments