The proof is in the pudding: The quest for program and system correctness

  • Date March 14, 2018
  • Hour 5 pm
  • Room GSSI
  • Speaker Luca Aceto (GSSI)


Computer scientists build artifacts (implemented in hardware, software or, as is the case in the fast-growing area of embedded and interactive systems, using a combination of both) that are supposed to offer some well defined services to their users. Since these computing systems are deployed in very large numbers, and often control crucial, if not safety critical, industrial processes, it is vital that they correctly implement the specification of their intended behaviour. The problem of ascertaining whether a computing system does indeed offer the behaviour described by its specification is called the correctness problem, and is one of the most fundamental problems in computer science.

In this talk, I will offer a bird's eye view of approaches that have been developed by computer scientists to establish the correctness of systems, since the pioneering work of John van Neumann and Alan Turing. The talk will be accessible to a general scientific public and won't require any previous knowledge of computer science. As the previous two talks in this series, it will be light-hearted but, hopefully, not devoid of intellectual content.