CWI and INRIA Launch the SENVA Joint Research Team on Safety-Critical Systems

February 17, 2004

(You may also read this article in ERCIM News #58)

CWI and INRIA, the Dutch and French national institutes for research on computer science, have decided to join forces in the area of safety-critical systems by launching a joint research team.

Named SENVA ("System ENgineering and VAlidation"), this joint research team will formalize and strengthen a long-standing collaboration between the SEN2 team of CWI and the VASY team of INRIA.

Both teams have international expertise on the formal specification and computer-aided validation of safety-critical systems. Both teams share a common methodology based on the theory of process algebras established by Hoare, Milner, Bergstra, Klop, and other prominent scientists. Both teams develop robust software tools, which are used in significant industrial case-studies.

In line with the current trend of integrating and strengthening the European Research Area, the SENVA joint research team will build upon the competences and workforce of both teams, in order to form a major player in formal methods for safety-critical systems.

The SENVA team will pursue the efforts undertaken by SEN2 and VASY to interconnect their software tools, the muCRL and CADP verification tool sets respectively. It will also target at a next generation of languages and tools for safety-critical systems.

In 2004, the SENVA team will focus on the following themes:

  • High-level specification languages,
  • Minimization tools for transition systems,
  • Distributed algorithms for state space generation, and
  • Compositional verification techniques

About CWI, INRIA, SEN2, and VASY


CWI, founded in 1946, is the National Research Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science in the Netherlands. CWI performs frontier research in mathematics and computer science and transfers new knowledge in these fields to society in general and trade and industry in particular.


INRIA, the French national institute for research in computer science and control, operating under the dual authority of the Ministry of Research and the Ministry of Industry, is dedicated to fundamental and applied research in information and communication science and technology (ICST). The Institute also plays a major role in technology transfer by fostering training through research, diffusion of scientific and technical information, development, as well as providing expert advice and participating in international programs.


Headed by Prof. Wan Fokkink, SEN2 focuses on techniques for improving the quality of software components typically found in embedded systems. A wide range of analysis techniques and resources are used to prove that systems exhibit their expected functionality. An important vehicle is the language mCRL; others are timed automata and modal logics. SEN2 employs methods from algebra and logics, as well as term rewriting. For the analysis of systems, dedicated tools for proof checking, state-space analysis and reduction, simulation, and testing are used.


Headed by Dr. Hubert Garavel, VASY is a research team of INRIA working in the area of formal methods applied to safety-critical systems. The research activities of VASY encompass formal specification languages and associated methodologies, compiling and rapid prototyping techniques, simulation, validation, verification, and test-case generation. VASY develops advanced software tools (namely CADP and TRAIAN) used in numerous case-studies, and is involved in several technology transfer projects with industrial partners.