Formal modeling made easy

Modeling parts of Linux has become a recurring topic. For instance, the memory model, the model for PREEMPT_RT synchronization, and so on. But the term “formal model” causes panic for most of the developers. Mainly because of the complex notations and reasoning that involves formal languages. It seems to be a very theoretical thing, far from our day-by-day reality.

Believe me. Modeling can be more practical than you might guess!

This talk will discuss the challenges and benefits of modeling, based on the experience of developing the PREEMPT_RT model. It will present a methodology for modeling the Linux behavior as Finite-State Machines (automata), using terms that are very known by kernel developers: tracing events! With the particular focus on how to use models for the formal verification of Linux kernel, at runtime, with low overhead, and in many cases, without even modifying Linux kernel!

Daniel Bistrot de Oliveira, Red Hat