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PRISM is a probabilistic model checker, a tool for the modelling and analysis of systems which exhibit probabilistic behaviour. Probabilistic model checking is a formal verification technique. It is based on the construction of a precise mathematical model of a system which is to be analysed. Properties of this system are then expressed formally in temporal logic and automatically analysed against the constructed model.

PRISM has support for a wide range of probabilistic models:

  • discrete-time Markov chains (DTMCs)
  • continuous-time Markov chains (CTMCs)
  • Markov decision processes (MDPs)
  • probabilistic timed automata (PTAs)
  • partially observable Markov decision processes (POMDPs)
  • partially observable probabilistic timed automata (POPTAs)

In fact, PRISM's support for MDPs extends to the more general model of probabilistic automata (PAs) [Seg95], which does not require unique action names in each state. For background material on these models, look at the pointers to resources on the PRISM web site.

PRISM also supports non-probabilistic models, notably labelled transition systems (LTSs).

Models are supplied to the tool by writing descriptions in the PRISM language, a simple, high-level modelling language.

Properties of these models are written in the PRISM property specification language which is based on temporal logic. It incorporates several well-known probabilistic temporal logics:

  • PCTL (probabilistic computation tree logic),
  • CSL (continuous stochastic logic),
  • (probabiistic) LTL (linear time logic),
  • PCTL* (which subsumes both PCTL and LTL).

The property language also supports costs and rewards, "numerical" properties, several other custom features and extensions, and also also incorporates the non-probabilistic temporal logics CTL (computation tree logic) and LTL.

PRISM performs probabilistic model checking, based on exhaustive search and numerical solution, to automatically analyse such properties. It also contains a discrete-event simulation engine for approximate model checking.

PRISM Manual

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