Departmental Papers (CIS)

Date of this Version

January 2005

Document Type

Conference Paper


While a typical software component has a clearly specified (static) interface in terms of the methods and the input/output types they support, information about the correct sequencing of method calls the client must invoke is usually undocumented. In this paper, we propose a novel solution for automatically extracting such temporal specifications for Java classes. Given a Java class, and a safety property such as "the exception E should not be raised", the corresponding (dynamic) interface is the most general way of invoking the methods in the class so that the safety property is not violated. Our synthesis method first constructs a symbolic representation of the finite state-transition system obtained from the class using predicate abstraction. Constructing the interface then corresponds to solving a partial-information two-player game on this symbolic graph. We present a sound approach to solve this computationally-hard problem approximately using algorithms for learning finite automata and symbolic model checking for branching-time logics. We describe an implementation of the proposed techniques in the tool JIST- Java Interface Synthesis Tool- and demonstrate that the tool can construct interfaces accurately and efficiently for sample Java2SDK library classes.

Subject Area

CPS Formal Methods

Publication Source

Proceedings of the 32nd ACM SIGPLAN-SIGACT Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages (POPL '05)





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Copyright/Permission Statement

© ACM 2005. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive Version of Record was published in Proceedings of the 32nd ACM SIGPLAN-SIGACT Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages (POPL '05),


behavioral interfaces, synthesis, software components, abstraction, model checking, games, learning regular languages



Date Posted: 01 November 2005