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Abstract: Deductive Composition of Astronomical Software from Subroutine Libraries

Mark Stickel, Richard Waldinger, Michael Lowry, Thomas Pressburger,
and Ian Underwood
Automated deduction techniques are being used in a system called
Amphion to derive, from graphical specifications, programs composed
from a subroutine library. The system has been applied to construct
software for the planning and analysis of interplanetary missions.

The library for that application is a collection of subroutines written
in FORTRAN-77 at JPL to perform computations in solar-system
kinematics. A domain theory has been developed that describes the procedures
in a portion of the library, as well as some basic properties of
solar-system astronomy, in the form of first-order axioms.

Specifications are elicited from the user through a menu-driven
graphical user interface; space scientists have found the graphical
notation congenial. The specification is translated into a theorem,
which is proved constructively in the astronomical domain theory by an
automated theorem prover, SNARK. An applicative program is
extracted from the proof and converted to FORTRAN-77. By the
method of its construction, the program is guaranteed to meet the
given specification and requires no further verification.

Amphion was tested on a set of fifteen sample problems, developed at
NASA, which involve typical computations involving the sun, planets,
moons, and spacecraft. Programs for all the problems were constructed
by the system entirely automatically. Since then, Amphion has been
successfully tested with potential end users from NASA, Stanford, and
JPL.

**[paper (447K)]**

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Comments and corrections to: ttp@ptolemy.arc.nasa.gov
(Tom Pressburger)
Principal Investigator, Amphion project:
lowry@ptolemy.arc.nasa.gov (Mike Lowry)
Last updated:
13 September 95