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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/H86097/01
Principal Investigator: Tyler, Professor N
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Data Sciences U K Ltd Pre Nexus Migration Steer Davies and Gleave Ltd
Department: Civil Environmental and Geomatic Eng
Organisation: UCL
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 02 August 1993 Ends: 01 October 1995 Value (£): 133,605
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Networks & Distributed Systems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Communications Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The on-going objectives of the FORMOSA project are to apply mathematically-based techniques (LOTOS and Z) to accelerate the progress of international standards for Open Distributed Processing (ODP) and improve their quality. The project also serves as a case study for the application of formal techniques; the results of this can be used to promote their adoption by the UK telecommunications and software industry. Central to the work on ODP is the trader. This is likely to be the first standard generated from the ODP framework. The FORMOSA project will therefore specify the trader. The development of such specifications has the additional advantage of assisting in checking conformance of implementations to ODP. Progress: Considerable progress has been made so far in the FORMOSA project. The formalisation of the core concepts of ODP (the basic modelling and specification concepts) identified numerous deficiencies in their definitions. These have since been rectified by a process of iterative feedback with the standard developers. Whilst it was identified in the initial FORMOSA project proposal that formalisation of the core concepts of ODP was essential, as work on FORMOSA progressed it became apparent that these concepts alone were not sufficiently expressive enough to build ODP specifications. Hence it was identified that the scope of FORMOSA needed extending to cover formalisation of the more prescriptive ODP concepts, namely those concepts associated with the ODP viewpoint languages. Much of the current work on FORMOSA is focused on the formalisation of these languages. So far, through FORMOSA, the contributions that have been submitted to BSI, and hence to the international ISO community are: formalisations of the enterprise and information viewpoint languages in LOTOS and Z; formalisation of the computational viewpoint language in LOTOS; and the formalisation of the basic modelling and specification concepts in LOTOS and Z. Identification of the need for a type management system has also arisen. This is crucial to the development of trading systems and standards. As a result, considerable time has been spent in FORMOSA on developing an approach to type management. This has resulted in the formal specification in LOTOS of a prototype type management system. Additional to this work has been the adoption of Z as the formal technique used to express a traders behaviour. This may be seen as one of the major successes of the FORMOSA project and clearly shows the growing acceptance of formal techniques. To a large extent, the success of the FORMOSA project depends on the transfer of knowledge gained from formalising the architecture of ODP. As a result, considerable work has been devoted to writing papers for conferences and journals, as well as technical reports.
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