Formal Development of a Graphical User Interface for a Radiation Therapy Machine

Jonathan Jacky and Jonathan Unger

November, 1994


We wrote a formal specification in Z for the graphical user interface of a radiation therapy machine. We implemented our specification in a Pascal dialect on a workstation that uses the X window system to manage the keyboard and display. We initially model the user interface as a collection of separate Z operation schemas corresponding to sections in the informal prose requirements document. From these we derive a state machine model, represented as a state transition table whose entries are schema names from the Z specification. Our state transition table format compactly represents nested states that are modelled in Z by schema inclusion. We implement each table entry as a Pascal function or procedure. We also implement a dispatcher that selects the proper state transition whenever any X event occurs; our dispatcher is the X event loop. Our dispatcher is a table-driven interpreter that can handle any state transition system expressed in the format we defined. We model the dispatcher in Z and formally derive some of its code.