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Formal 2025: My Vision

Conference: Verification Futures 2018 (click here to see full programme)
Speaker: Dr Ashish Darbari, Founder & CEO, Axiomise
Presentation Title: Formal 2025: My Vision
Abstract: Nearly 50 years ago Dijkstra famously coined the phrase “Program testing can be used to show the presence of bugs but never to show their absence.” Formal methods have gone through a rapid evolution of use model from the focus slowly shifting away from proving bug absence to finding bugs. This is certainly true in the context of formal verification in the semiconductor industry. With newer ways of assessing the quality of formal verification through a range of coverage models, formal is increasingly being recognized as a potent verification technology and is being discussed in the same context as simulation and emulation. However, despite the growing attention that formal technologies get, formal is not yet mainstream. The question is will it ever be?

In this talk, I take a step back and review the trajectory of formal and consider where we are today with the application of formal verification in our industry. I discuss the reasons for the success of formal and the numerous challenges we still face. I will outline my vision on what can be done to enable formal to become predictable and mainstream in the industry and to allow formal to be used for the right reason at the right time. I discuss whether we will ever be able to realise Dijkstra’s dream of consistently using formal to prove bug absence; or do we even need to care about it?

Speaker Bio: Dr Ashish Darbari is the Founder & CEO of Axiomise, a formal verification methodology consulting, training and services company based in London. Ashish has been at the forefront of deploying formal for several years at OneSpin Solutions, Imagination Technologies, GM, ARM, and Intel. He has extensive research and application experience in all formal technologies including property checking, equivalence checking and theorem proving. Ashish has innovated techniques for applying formal on a range of new problem domains that include security, power and firmware verification. His patent portfolio includes over 40 patents – fourteen of which have been granted in the field of formal verification. Ashish holds a Doctorate from University of Oxford, and a Masters from TU Dresden. He is a Fellow of IETE, and the British Computing Society, and a Senior Member of IEEE and ACM.
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