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Technical Report Results

Technical Report TR650:
Starfish: A Table-Centric Tool for Design Derivation

Alexander W. Tsow
(Aug 2007), 272 pages
[Ph.D Thesis]
Abstract:
Behavior tables are a visual formalism for representing synchronous systems of communicating processes. Although behavior tables arose from hardware modeling methods, they operate on arbitrarily abstract data-types. Originally conceived as an aid for imposing architecture on behaviorally oriented specifications, behavior tables inherited a structural algebra from the Digital Design Derivation (DDD) system. This thesis extends the algebra in three ways. It incorporates a transformation for retiming operations. It adds serialization by extending the notion of correctness to include stuttering alignments. It introduces mechanisms for declaring and refining abstract data types. This thesis further contributes serialization tables---a complementary behavior table form---for assisting interactive construction of schedules. A prototype tool, Starfish, implements these technologies. Two medium-scale examples---an SECD machine derivation and an abstract signal factorization for a hardware garbage collector---demonstrate feasibility of these techniques in non-trivial systems.

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