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Open Access PROOFCERT – Broad Spectrum Proof Certificates – ERC

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There is little hope that the world will know secure software if we cannot make greater strides in the practice of formal methods: hardware and software devices with errors are routinely turned against their users. The ProofCert proposal aims at building a foundation that will allow a broad spectrum of formal methods-ranging from automatic model checkers to interactive theorem provers-to work together to establish formal properties of computer systems. This project starts with a wonderful gift to us from decades of work by logicians and proof theorist: their efforts on logic and proof has given us a universally accepted means of communicating proofs between people and computer systems. Logic can be used to state desirable security and correctness properties of software and hardware systems and proofs are uncontroversial evidence that statements are, in fact, true. The current state-of-the-art of formal methods used in academics and industry shows, however, that the notion of logic and proof is severely fractured: there is little or no communication between any two such systems. Thus any efforts on computer system correctness is needlessly repeated many time in the many different systems: sometimes this work is even redone when a given prover is upgraded. In ProofCert, we will build on the bedrock of decades of research into logic and proof theory the notion of proof certificates. Such certificates will allow for a complete reshaping of the way that formal methods are employed. Given the infrastructure and tools envisioned in this proposal, the world of formal methods will become as dynamic and responsive as the world of computer viruses and hackers has become.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2017-03-01

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