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Description

Component-based software has been proposed as a methodology for improving software reuse and has increasingly been adopted by robot software developers. At the same time, robot systems typically have real-time performance requirements and performance gains can often be obtained by multi-threading. It is challenging, however, to create correct multi-threaded software, especially when standard mutual exclusion primitives, such as mutexes and semaphores, are eschewed in favor of more efficient, lock-free mechanisms. It is even more difficult to find these errors, as they can remain dormant for years until triggered by just the &quot;right&quot; conditions. Our approach, therefore, is to apply Formal Methods to reason about the correctness of these mechanisms. As a first step, we adopted a recently-developed program logic called History for Local Rely/Guarantee (HLRG) and applied it to prove the correctness (after first finding and fixing an error) of one such mechanism in the open source <i>cisst</i> software package. This strategy is not specific to <i>cisst</i> and can be applied to other packages.

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