Australian researchers have demonstrated a way to prove core software for mission-critical systems is safe. The researchers this week said they can prove mathematically that code they have developed, designed to govern the safety and security of systems in aircraft and motor vehicles, is free of many classes of error.
Australia's Information and Communications Technology Centre of Excellence (Nicta), a private-sector research organization, this week announced the completion of the first formal machine-checked proof of a general-purpose operating-system kernel. The kernel is called the secure embedded L4 (seL4) microkernel.

Lawrence Paulson, professor of computational logic at Cambridge University's Computer Laboratory, who developed the Isabelle generic proof assistant Nicta modified to check its kernel, told ZDNet UK that the microkernel breakthrough would have a trickle-down effect for businesses.

"I regard the software industry as a real mess," Paulson said on Thursday. "If you've ever used a computer you know how unreliable they are. This is an important way of making it better."

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