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Learner Reviews & Feedback for System Validation: Automata and behavioural equivalences by EIT Digital

182 ratings

About the Course

Have you ever experienced software systems failing? Websites crash, calendar not synchronising, or even a power blackout. Of course you have! But did you know that many of these errors are the result of communication errors either within a system or between systems? Depending on the system, the impact of software failures can be huge, even resulting in massive economic damage or loss of lives. Software, and in particular the communication between software-intensive systems, is very complex and very difficult to get right. However, we need dependability in the systems we use, directly or indirectly, to support us in our everyday lives. System Validation helps you to design embedded system behaviour that is structurally sound. It also forces you to make the behaviour simple and insightful; systems that are designed for sound behaviour are also much easier to maintain and adapt. System Validation is the field that studies the fundamentals of system communication and information processing. The techniques put forward in system validaton allow to prove the absence of errors. This first course ’Automata and behavioural equivalences', builds the foundation of the subsequent courses, showing you how to look at system behaviour as state machines. It discusses behavioural equivalences and illustrates these in a number of examples and quizzes. This course explains labelled transition systems or automata to model behaviour, especially for software controlled systems. An important question is when two behaviours represented by such automata are equal. The answer to this question is not at all straightforward, but the resulting equivalences are used as powerful tools to simplify complex behaviour. This allows us to exactly investigate and understand the behavioural properties of such systems precisely. Especially, in the combination with hiding of behaviour, equivalence reduction is a unique technique to obtain insight in the behaviour of systems, and is far more effective than simulation or testing. Using this insight we can make the models correct. Such models form an excellent basis for the production of concise, reliable and maintainable software. This course is part I of the set of courses for System Validation. System Validation, as a set of courses, is part of a larger EIT Digital online programme called 'Internet of Things through Embedded Systems'....

Top reviews


May 21, 2021

Jan Friso Groote is a great professor. The only thing that was kind of hard for me was understanding his English because I'm Spanish native speaker. Thanks for this awesome course!


Jul 29, 2020

This was a really good course. The professor is good as well. I would certainly recommend that people take this course.

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26 - 45 of 45 Reviews for System Validation: Automata and behavioural equivalences

By Nafees M

May 8, 2017

thx a lot prof.

By Hafiz A Q

May 5, 2020

It was amazing

By Paul J R P

Sep 8, 2023

very helpful

By Brandon J T A

Jan 25, 2020

Very nice!

By Bussetty S S

Apr 1, 2021


By Pat B

Aug 10, 2020

This is a very basic course in automata theory and covers it at a very high level. However, it is the first course in a four course series, so this is understandable. One feature of the course that I very much appreciated was that, on both on-line exercises and quizzes, if a wrong answer was chosen, the reason it was an error was explained. This corrective feedback very much helped in overall understanding.

I have only two complaints, both of which are minor. First of all, one lesson uses a tool that is available on-line to demonstrate a particular graph reduction (the "alternating bit protocol" example). Presently, what is available on-line is a bit out of sync with what is described in the lesson.

Second is the general "feel" of most of the problems. The problems are based on graphs, and the solutions are more from observation of the graph rather than analysis. Again, this may be more due to the fact that this course is used to provide background for succeeding courses than anything else.

Overall, I am satisfied with the course. But in order to do any sort of system validation will require taking the next three courses in the sequence.

By Mykola D

Mar 10, 2017

I really like the subject of the course. The presentation was really good. However, some of the concepts were not so easy to understand. The course does not provide any reading, so I had to watch the lectures again if I forget some of the details. Eventually I've started taking detailed notes and added screenshots to my notebook. I wish I could have more exercises just for practice that would not be graded. That would provide a safe env. to learn and practice before taking final tests. Some of the answers to exercises were very helpful to learn the concepts better. So, more such practical exercises would be helpful.

By delfieu d

Apr 4, 2019

I have appreciated the pedagogic presentation. Some concepts, quite well introduced by examples, would have deserved to have their formal definitions presented.

By Jamal A

Apr 11, 2023

Good to learn new things. the recorded sound quality is not too clear. However I managed to learn from the professor a lot.

By Emmanuel D

Dec 5, 2017

A very good introduction for model checking. I had some knownledge and it was very good refresh.

By Roger.Qea

Jul 15, 2017

It will be better if these materials could be summarized into a table at the end of the course.

By 项超

Nov 5, 2018

good, some parts is not clear enough. Better learn with the recommend textbook

By Arphibanri L

May 13, 2021


By Dmitry F

Jan 13, 2017

Course is mostly theoretical. So far it's difficult to say anything about its practical implications and usefulness. It's my first course on Coursera, so I can't compare. But I think sometimes it lacks a bit clarity, especially considering lecturer's English and bad quality of subtitles which sometimes do not match real lecturer's words. Anyway it was interesting and now I'm really intrigued about how I can apply this new knowledge to real everyday development tasks. Most probably I will try following courses in the specialization. Thanks a lot to authors!

By Garry M

Sep 23, 2020

There are little examples in the course or the book and that makes it difficult to practice for the quizzes or really get a feel for the information. Most times I felt I learned more reading the book after doing a quiz attempt and using the feedback than I did in the videos. I recommend adding more examples and practice exercises for this material.

By Carlo B

Feb 12, 2018

I liked the course and the topic, I suggest to improve adding more practical automata modelling in mCRL2. The current approach is a little bit discouraging because requires a lot of manual effort especially because there are multiple choices per exercise and you get zero % if you miss one.

By Nicolas R

Jul 20, 2020

The quizzes ask very useful but non-trivial questions that hint at taxonomies of behavior equivalences relations w.r.t.some criteria (e.g., coarsest; preserving weak traces; preserving divergences; ...)

By Harsh K D

Mar 19, 2018

Course gives a very abstract and basic idea.It fails to explain the relations with practical examples.

By Hanno H

Jun 8, 2020

This is painful to watch. Sadly, uttering a series of correct statements is not the same as teaching a subject. The lecturer clearly knows his materials, but ends up making the course content harder than it really is. Automaton theory is a wonderful topic to be working with but this lecture is more confusing than helpful. I'd recommend to buy a good book on the matter, its less frustrating and probably explains things better.

By Marwan A

Aug 12, 2017

I didn't understand a thing from the course! It's like the professor is reading from a book! This is not education, this is an audible book recorded using the worst mic ever!