Modal transition systems (MTS) is a well-studied specification formalism of reactive systems supporting a step-wise refinement methodology. Despite its many advantages, the formalism as well as its currently known extensions are incapable of expressing some practically needed aspects in the refinement process like exclusive, conditional and persistent choices. We introduce a new model called parametric modal transition systems (PMTS) together with a general modal refinement notion that overcomes many of the limitations. We investigate the computational complexity of modal and thorough refinement checking on PMTS and its subclasses and provide a direct encoding of the modal refinement problem into quantified Boolean formulae, allowing us to employ state-of-the-art QBF solvers for modal refinement checking. The experiments we report on show that the feasibility of refinement checking is more influenced by the degree of nondeterminism rather than by the syntactic restrictions on the types of formulae allowed in the description of the PMTS.
Acta Informatica, 2015, Vol 52, Issue 2, p. 269-297