Trustworthy Systems

Reliable device drivers require well-defined protocols


Leonid Ryzhyk, Timothy Bourke and Ihor Kuz



Current operating systems lack well-defined protocols for interaction with device drivers. We argue that this hinders the development of reliable drivers and thereby undermines overall system stability. We present an approach to specify driver protocols using a formalism based on state machines. We show that it can simplify device programming, facilitate static analysis of drivers against protocol specifications, and enable detection of incorrect behaviours at runtime.

BibTeX Entry

    address          = {Edinburgh, UK},
    author           = {Ryzhyk, Leonid and Bourke, Timothy and Kuz, Ihor},
    booktitle        = {Workshop on Hot Topics in System Dependability},
    editor           = {{Miguel Castro and John Wilkes}},
    keywords         = {device drivers, modelling, systems engineering},
    month            = jun,
    pages            = {Article 3},
    paperurl         = {},
    publisher        = {USENIX Association},
    title            = {Reliable device drivers require well-defined protocols},
    year             = {2007}