EECS 755

Software Modeling and Analysis


EECS 755 - Software Modeling and Analysis

Software Modeling and Analysis is an advanced introduction to modern techniques for specification, verification and implementation of computer-based systems. Students will learn to write formal specifications, refine specifications and verify that implementations meet their requirements. Specific topics include verification, axiomatic specification, invariants, algebraic types and induction, constructive specification, assume-guarantees style specification, safety and liveness, and intuitionistic logic. We use the Coq proof system, but techniques learned apply equally well to other verification systems.

Class Information

Room and Time
1136 Learned Hall
2:30-3:45 TR
Some discrete mathematics and functional programming.
Instructor Information
Dr. Perry Alexander
Office Hours: 3:45-5:00 TR in 3048 Eaton Hall, or by appointment
Office: 3048 Eaton Hall / 208 Nichols Hall
Phone: 4-7741
Benjamin Pierce, et. al., Logical Foundations - Software Foundations Volume 1, published online (required)
Benjamin Pierce, et. al., Programming Langauge Foundations - Software Foundations Volume 2, published online (required)
Adam Chlipala, Formal Reasoning About Programs, published online (required)
Coq proof system.
CoqIDE if you don’t want to use emacs.
VScode is an even better option if you don’t want to use emacs.
ProofGeneral if you do want to use emacs. ProofGeneral is also available via melpa if you prefer not to install by hand.

Lectures and Homeworks

Please submit your assignments on the class Canvas Site.

1/18 Course introduction and Gallina basics
Lecture: Introduction, Basics
Album: Aja, Steely Dan
1/23 Gallina basics
Lecture: Basics
Album: Aging, Kevin Drew
1/25 Gallina basics
Lecture: Basics
Album: Let’s Face It, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
1/30 Proof by induction
Lecture: Induction
Homework: Basics.v, BasicsTest.v
Album: Legacy: The Instrumental Jawn, Adam Blackstone
2/1 Proof by induction
Lecture: Induction
Album: 1972, Josh Rouse
2/6 Structured Data
Lecture: Lists
Homework: Induction.v, InductionTest.v with two 3 star or above problems.
Album: The Omnichord Real Book, Meshell Ndegeocello
2/8 Structured Data, Polymorphism
Lecture: Lists, Poly
Album: The Room, Sam Gendel and Fabiano Do Nascimento
2/13 Proof Tactics
Lecture: Tactics
Homework: Lists.v, ListsTest.v with two 3 star or above problems.
Album: Nothing’s Shocking, Jane’s Addition
2/15 Proof Tactics
Lecture: Tactics, Logic
Album: Bright Size Life, Pat Metheny
2/20 Logic
Lecture: Logic
Homework: Poly.v, PolyTest.v with two 3 star or above problems. Tactics.v, TacticsTest.v with two 3 star or above problems.
Album: Featherweight, Rosie Frater-Taylor
2/22 Logic in Coq and Inductive Propositions
Lecture: Logic, Inductive Propositions
Album: Psychadelic Backfire II, Elephant9 with Reine Fiske
Midterm Topics Stop Here
Specific study topics are listed below
2/27 Inductive Propositions
Lecture: Inductive Propositions
Homework: Logic.v, LogicTest.v with two 3 star or above problems.
2/29 Inductive Propositions and Proof Objects
Lecture: Inductive Propositions, Proof Objects,
3/5 Maps and Imp
Lecture: Maps, Imp,
Album: Can You Hear It?, Innanen, Pasborg, Piromalli




You will perform homework that involves developing specifications and proofs using the Coq verification system. These assignments are an exceptionally important part of the course and provide insight into writing and verifying specifications and code that cannot be gained by simply attending lectures. Homework will be assigned every week with the exception of exam weeks.

Each homework problem is assigned points by its number of stars as follows:

Total points for an assigned homework file is the sum of all problems in the file. Total grade points is 2/3 of the available points rounded up. Thus, your goal is to complete 2/3 of the points available in a file. If you do more, you will receive extra credit for 1/3 work beyond the 2/3 goal. For each homework you will also be asked to do a minimum of 3 and 4 star problems.

For example, if there are 35 points available for an assignment, your goal is 23 points. I may also separately require one or more 3 or 4 star problems as a part of your total. Extra credit is calculated as ((file total - 23)/3) if (file total - 23) is not negative.

All assignments assigned prior to the midterm will be due before the midterm. All assignments prior to the final will be due before the final. Do not wait until the last minute. Individual due dates are provided to help you keep pace with the class and represent the earliest I will start grading. If I suspect the class is not keeping up, I will enforce hard due dates.

Please use KU’s Canvas system for project submissions. Your specification files should be self-contained including any needed documentation. coqdoc is a great way to document your specifications, but is not required.


All exams are closed book, closed notes, in-class exams. The final exam will be held during the time assigned by the University in our regular classroom.


Grades are assigned on a standard 10 point scale:

I do not use +/- grading scale. As this is a graduate class, the lowest passing grade is a C.

Classroom tasks are weighted using the following scale:

You must pass both mini projects and exams separately to pass the class. Specifically, if you get less than 60% on your homeworks or less than 60% on your exams, you will not pass the course.

I may curve final grades at the end of the semester. However, I will never curve individual assignments or exams. If I curve and how much I curve is at my discretion.

Classroom Policies

The Three Commandments

Pretty simple. Follow them and we’ll be great friends!

  1. Don’t whine
  2. Don’t cheat
  3. Be kind

Class Participation - I do not take attendance in class, however participation in class is important to its success. How much homework and how rigorously it is graded will definitely depend on class participation. Please ask questions and participate in class discussions. When assigning final grades, borderline cases will be decided based on class participation.

Grading Errors - If I have made an error in grading an exam or assignment, you have two weeks following the date the item is available to see me about correcting the problem. Note that this includes the final! After that time, your grade is set and will not be changed. I also request that you wait 24 hours after an exam is returned before coming to me with questions.

Curving - I may decide to curve final scores when the semester is over. Whether I curve and how much I curve is at my discretion. I will never curve up, but may curve down. Specifically, 90% and above will always be an “A”, but I may choose to lower the cutoff percentage. Whether I curve and how much I curve is at my discretion. I will never curve scores on an individual graded assignment or exam.

Email - I encourage you to use email to contact me. I am logged in whenever I am working and check my mail frequently. Email is my preferred means of communication.__

Blog - The course blog is available on the website. I will post late-breaking news about projects, homework and class administration on the blog. Check the website and blog frequently, particularly around project due dates and exams.

Phone - Feel free to call me in any of my office at any time. I would prefer not to be called at home.

Office Hours - I will make every effort to be in my office during scheduled office hours. If there are exceptions, I will let you know as early as is possible. If you have a conflict with my office hours, please make an appointment.

Cheating - Academic misconduct of any kind will automatically result in a 0 score on the homework, lab, project, or exam in question and your actions will be reported to the department chair. Your homework, exams and projects must be individually prepared unless otherwise noted. Posting your assignments to internet discussion lists is considered academic misconduct. Sharing your solutions with others is considered academic misconduct. Turning in solutions from previous semesters is considered academic misconduct. Paying people to prepare solutions is academic misconduct. Automated mechanisms are available for checking the originality of source code. Please spend your time trying to solve assigned problems rather than trying to get around the system. Don’t risk it!

Exceptions - Excusing a missed exam or assignment is left to my discretion. Illness, family emergencies, and religious observances are examples of acceptable excuses. Computer down time, over sleeping, and social events are examples of unacceptable excuses. Please try to let me know of problems in advance when possible and be prepared to provide verification of your excuse.

Extensions - As a policy, I do not extend due dates of homework and projects. If I choose to do so, I will only announce the extension in class, via email or on the blog. If you hear an extension has been granted and I have not announced it, your information is incorrect. Remember that if I grant extensions early in the semester, it will necessarily compress due dates the end of the semester.


We will do quite a bit of bouncing around between topics and between our three texts. It is quite important that you be in class. We will start in Logical Foundations and follow the recommended path for a semester course. We will them move to Programming Language Foundations and again follow the recommended path for a semester course with several topics on program verification from Formal Reasoning About Programs.