The Use of High Order Languages in High Integrity Certifiable Software PUBLIC ACCESS

[+] Author Affiliations
N. J. B. Young

Dowty Electronics Ltd, London, England

Paper No. 83-GT-97, pp. V005T13A004; 7 pages
  • ASME 1983 International Gas Turbine Conference and Exhibit
  • Volume 5: Ceramics; Structures and Dynamics; Controls, Diagnostics and Instrumentation; Education; Process Industries
  • Phoenix, Arizona, USA, March 27–31, 1983
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-7955-9
  • Copyright © 1982 by Dowty Electronics


The use of high order languages for writing software for high integrity control applications is aimed to overcome the problems of slow development, lack of visibility and machine dependence in low order languages, assembly codes and machine codes.

But the use of high order languages has failed to overcome the problem of visibility especially on short word-length machines because of difficulties in identifying undesirable characteristics of the machine code generated from the high order language. These characteristics may be due to faults in complex compilers which are intrinsically error-prone; or may be properties of the “correct” operation of a compiler which generates code which may permit unchecked arithmetic overflows or excessive loss of numerical accuracy. Further, these characteristics may change between issues of a compiler and between versions for different processors. This all slows down software development and makes certification difficult.

This paper discusses techniques for overcoming these problems while maintaining the familiarity and visibility of high order languages. A language designed around these techniques and capable of intrinsically safe software development and modification is discussed.

Copyright © 1982 by Dowty Electronics
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