Triggers for Reactive Synthesis Specifications

Gal Amram, Dor Ma'ayan, Shahar Maoz, Or Pistiner, Jan Oliver Ringert

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Reactive synthesis is an automated procedure to obtain a correct-by-construction reactive system from its temporal logic specification. Two of the main challenges in bringing reactive synthesis to practice are its very high worst-case complexity and the difficulty of writing declarative specifications using basic LTL operators. To address the first challenge, researchers have suggested the GR(1) fragment of LTL, which has an efficient poly-nomial time symbolic synthesis algorithm. To address the second challenge, specification languages include higher-level constructs that aim at allowing engineers to write succinct and readable specifications. One such construct is the triggers operator, as supported, e.g., in the Property Specification Language (PSL). In this work we introduce triggers into specifications for reactive synthesis. The effectiveness of our contribution relies on a novel encoding of regular expressions using symbolic finite automata (SFA) and on a novel semantics for triggers that, in contrast to PSL triggers, admits an efficient translation into GR(1). We show that our triggers are expressive and succinct, and prove that our encoding is optimal. We have implemented our ideas on top of the Spectra language and synthesizer. We demonstrate the usefulness and effectiveness of using triggers in specifications for synthesis, as well as the challenges involved in using them, via a study of more than 300 triggers written by undergraduate students who participated in a project class on writing specifications for synthesis. To the best of our knowledge, our work is the first to introduce triggers into specifications for reactive synthesis.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2023 IEEE/ACM 45th International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE 2023
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781665457019
StatePublished - 2023
Event45th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE 2023 - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 15 May 202316 May 2023

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Conference on Software Engineering
ISSN (Print)0270-5257


Conference45th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE 2023


FundersFunder number
European Union s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme
European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme101069165
European Research Council


    • Formal specifications
    • Reactive synthesis


    Dive into the research topics of 'Triggers for Reactive Synthesis Specifications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this