Anomalies Encountered in Ada Exception Handling

Authors:Koeritz, C, Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Virginia Knight, J, Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Virginia

The correct handling of exceptions is important in dependable computing systems. The exception semantics in the Ada language provide a means for handling exceptions, but the mere semantics do not guarantee any properties of dependability by themselves. A set of unusual situations called anomalies are identified in Ada exception handling. The presence of an anomaly in an Ada program can cause the program to diverge from its specification, often in a completely unacceptable manner. Anomalies are introduced into Ada programs through inadequate implementations of the exception handling portions of the program and are not due to normal program execution. Because anomalies exist in the exception handling portions of Ada programs, it is difficult to "detect the presence of anomalies during implementation, it is hard to handle their consequences during execution, and they are capable of causing unexpected results in systems that are intended to be dependable. In this paper, the known anomalies in Ada exception handling are enumerated and each is analyzed in terms of its causes and consequences.
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Source Citation:

Koeritz, C, and J Knight. "Anomalies Encountered in Ada Exception Handling." University of Virginia Dept. of Computer Science Tech Report (1993).

University of Virginia, Department of Computer Science
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