User:Nicolas/Collections/ADVANCE D3.4 Language extension

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Mathematical extensions have been co-developed by Systerel (for the Core Rodin Platform) and Southampton (for the Theory plug-in). The main purpose of this feature was to provide the Rodin user with a way to extend the standard Event-B mathematical language by supporting user-defined operators, basic predicates and algebraic types. Along with these additional notations, the user can also define new proof rules (proof extensions).

The Theory plug-in provides, among other things, a user-friendly mechanism to extend the Event-B mathematical language as well as the prover. A theory is the dedicated component used to hold mathematical extensions (datatypes, operators with direct definitions, operators with recursive definitions and operators with axiomatic definitions), and proof extensions (polymorphic theorems, rewrite and inference rules). Theories are developed in the workspace (akin to models), and are subject to static checking and proof obligation generation. Proof obligations generated from theories ensure any contributed extensions do not compromise the soundness of the existing infrastructure for modelling and proof. In essence, the Theory plug-in provides a systematic platform for defining, validating and using extensions while exploiting the benefits brought by proof obligations.

Motivations / Decisions

Supporting mathematical and proof extensions has been a longing for the Event-B community for considerable time. Serious considerations have been made to ensure any support ensures: 1) ease of use, and 2) soundness preservation. The Theory plug-in became a natural candidate to provide support for mathematical and proof extensions. The use of proof obligations goes a long way in preserving the soundness of the underlying Event-B formalism.

In the past 5 months:

  • Two versions of the Theory plug-in is released. [1] The releases include several bug fixes.
  • A set of standard theories and some models using these theories are developed . The standard library of the theories is available to download here.

This library includes:

  • BasicTheory project: including theories of BinaryTree, BoolOps, List, PEANO, SUMandPRODUCT and Seq.
  • RelationOrderTheory project: including theories of Connectivity, FixPoint, Relation, Well_Fondation, closure, complement and galois.
  • RealTheory project: including theory of Real.

Also it includes three Event-B models that use these theories:

  • Data project: using SUMandPRODUCT theory
  • Queue project: using Seq theory
  • SimpleNetwork project: using closure theory

During last 4 months, the migration of Theory plug-in for Rodin v3.1 is being perfumed. This work involves major changes in managing the compatibilities in the Theory plug-in using the APIs from Rodin core v3.1.

Available Documentation

Pre-studies (states of the art, proposals, discussions):

  • Proposals for Mathematical Extensions for Event-B.[2]
  • Mathematical Extension in Event-B through the Rodin Theory Component.[3]
  • Generic Parser's Design Alternatives.[4]

Technical details (specifications):

  • Mathematical_Extensions wiki page.[5]
  • Constrained Dynamic Lexer wiki page.[6]
  • Constrained Dynamic Parser wiki page.[7]
  • Theory plug-in wiki page.[8]

User's guides:

  • Theory Plug-in User Manual.[9]


The Theory plugin plays an important role in enhancing the useability of the Rodin in terms of extending the Event-B modelling language and provers. The latest release (2.0.2) can be considered as a stable release for Rodin v2.8, and is used in WP1 and WP2 as below:

  • In WP1 it was used to develop theories of graphs and chains to represent rail network topology, train positions and train movements.
  • In WP2 is was used for modelling arithmetic operations on data collections (generalised product and sum) for the voltage controller.

Also an external industrial user, Thales, has used the Theory plug-in for representing variability in modelling of railway interlocking systems. In particular Thales developed a generic model of an interlocking system and represented operational rules specific to particular rail operators as mathematical operators in theories. Different rules are represented as different theories for the same generic model. The Thales presentation at ADVANCE Industry Day is available here.