An Embeddable Virtual Machine for State Space Generation, International Journal on Software Tools for Technology Transfer (STTT), DOI: 10.1007/s10009-010-0141-2.
The semantics of modelling languages are not always specified in a precise and formal way, and their rather complex underlying models make it a non-trivial exercise to reuse them in newly developed tools. We report on experiments with a virtual machine-based approach for state space generation. The virtual machine's (VM) byte-code language is straightforwardly implementable, facilitates reuse and makes it an adequate target for translation of higher-level languages like the SPIN model checker's PROMELA, or even C. As added value, it provides efficiently executable operational semantics for modelling languages. Several tools have been built on top of the VM implementation we developed, to evaluate the benefits of the proposed approach.
(Invited journal version of an earlier SPIN publication.)