Probabilistic modelling and verification using RoboChart and PRISM

Kangfeng Ye*, Ana Cavalcanti, Simon Foster, Alvaro Miyazawa, Jim Woodcock

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


RoboChart is a timed domain-specific language for robotics, distinctive in its support for automated verification by model checking and theorem proving. Since uncertainty is an essential part of robotic systems, we present here an extension to RoboChart to model uncertainty using probabilism. The extension enriches RoboChart state machines with probability through a new construct: probabilistic junctions as the source of transitions with a probability value. RoboChart has an accompanying tool, called RoboTool, for modelling and verification of functional and real-time behaviour. We present here also an automatic technique, implemented in RoboTool, to transform a RoboChart model into a PRISM model for verification. We have extended the property language of RoboTool so that probabilistic properties expressed in temporal logic can be written using controlled natural language.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSoftware and Systems Modeling
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is funded by the EPSRC grants EP/M025756/1 and EP/R025479/1, and by the Royal Academy of Engineering grant CiET1718/45. The icons used in RoboChart have been made by Sarfraz Shoukat, Freepik, Google, Icomoon and Madebyoliver from , and are licensed under CC 3.0 BY.

Funding Information:
MODEST [, ], a modelling and analysis framework for stochastic hybrid systems, uses a comparatively higher-level language that is inspired by process algebras. It is supported by the MODEST Toolset. PRISM, Storm, and MODEST all support DTMC and MDP models for discrete probabilities.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


  • Domain-specific language for robotics
  • Formal semantics
  • Model transformation
  • Probabilistic model checking
  • State machines

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