The role of model checking in software engineering

Anil Kumar Karna, Yuting Chen, Haibo Yu, Hao Zhong, Jianjun Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Model checking is a formal verification technique. It takes an exhaustively strategy to check hardware circuits and network protocols against desired properties. Having been developed for more than three decades, model checking is now playing an important role in software engineering for verifying rather complicated software artifacts. This paper surveys the role of model checking in software engineering. In particular, we searched for the related literatures published at reputed conferences, symposiums, workshops, and journals, and took a survey of (1) various model checking techniques that can be adapted to software development and their implementations, and (2) the use of model checking at different stages of a software development life cycle. We observed that model checking is useful for software debugging, constraint solving, and malware detection, and it can help verify different types of software systems, such as object- and aspect-oriented systems, service-oriented applications, web-based applications, and GUI applications including safety- and mission-critical systems. The survey is expected to help human engineers understand the role of model checking in software engineering, and as well decide which model checking technique(s) and/or tool(s) are applicable for developing, analyzing and verifying a practical software system. For researchers, the survey also points out how model checking has been adapted to their research topics on software engineering and its challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)642-668
Number of pages27
JournalFrontiers of Computer Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of model checking in software engineering'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this