Yi Li bio photo

Yi Li

Associate Professor

College of Computing and Data Science (CCDS)
Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

Address: Block N4-02b-63
50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798
Phone: +65 6790 4287

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A Survey of Smart Contract Formal Specification and Verification

Palina Tolmach, Yi Li, Shang-Wei Lin, Yang Liu, and Zengxiang Li

ACM Computing Surveys, 2021

Abstract: A smart contract is a computer program which allows users to automate their actions on the blockchain platform. Given the significance of smart contracts in supporting important activities across industry sectors including supply chain, finance, legal and medical services, there is a strong demand for verification and validation techniques. Yet, the vast majority of smart contracts lack any kind of formal specification, which is essential for establishing their correctness. In this survey, we investigate formal models and specifications of smart contracts presented in the literature and present a systematic overview in order to understand the common trends. We also discuss the current approaches used in verifying such property specifications and identify gaps with the hope to recognize promising directions for future work.


  author = {Tolmach, Palina and Li, Yi and Lin, Shang-Wei and Liu, Yang and Li, Zengxiang},
  journal = {ACM Computing Surveys},
  month = jul,
  number = {7},
  pages = {1--38},
  title = {A Survey of Smart Contract Formal Specification and Verification},
  volume = {54},
  year = {2021}
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