package rfsm

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A toolset for describing and simulating StateChart-like state diagrams


Dune Dependency






A toolset for describing and simulating StateChart-like state diagrams

Published: 21 Sep 2019



RFSM is a toolset for describing and simulating StateChart-like state diagrams. The toolset is composed of

  • an Ocaml library

  • a command-line compiler (rfsmc)

RFSM tools take

  • a description of a system as a set of StateChart-like state diagrams

  • a description of stimuli to be used as input for this system

and generate

  • a graphical representation of the system (to be viewed with Graphviz for example)

  • execution traces as .vcd files (to be viewed with Gtkwave for example)

Additionnaly, dedicated backends can generate system descriptions in

  • CTask (a C dialect with primitives for describing tasks and event-based synchronisation)

  • SystemC

  • VHDL

for simulation of implementation.

The rfmsc compiler is intended to be used from the command line. Graphical User Interfaces are provided separately:


The compiler user manual can be found here

The library API is documented here


The latest stable version is provided as a ready-to-install OPAM package. Just type

opam install rfsm

Compiling and running examples

Some examples are provided in the directories single and multi (the former concerns systems built from a single state diagram, the latter systems built from several diagrams).

For compiling and running an example

  • get a copy of the source tree and go to the selected example directory

    • git clone

    • cd rfsm/examples/single/chrono (for example)

  • build the top Makefile by invoking: rfsmmake (this supposes that the rfsm package has been properly installed; in particular that the rfsmc and rfsmmake executables are available on your path)

  • the generated Makefile contains a set of rules to

    • generate and view the graphical representation of the system (make dot)

    • simulate the behavior the system and view the execution traces (make sim)

    • generate code describing the system in C (make ctask.code), SystemC (make systemc.code) and VHDL (make vhdl.code)

Viewing the graphical representations (.dot files) and the execution traces (.vcd files) is carried out by calling external programs called $DOTVIEWER and $VCDVIEWER in the Makefile. Default values are provided in the file <opam_prefix>/share/rfsm/platform, where <opam_prefix> is the root of the opam tree where the rfsm package has been installed. These values will probably to be adjusted according to your system.

The generated SystemC (resp. VHDL) code is written in sub-directory ./systemc (resp. ./vhdl). Also generated in these directories is a dedicated Makefile for compiling and running the generated code and viewing the results. This Makefile is derived from a template located in directory <opam_prefix>/share/rfsm/templates/. These templates will also probably have to be adjusted to suit your local SystemC or VHDL installation.

Some examples also contain a ./ml sub-directory. The ocaml source code located in these sub-directories illustrates the use of the rfsm library. The code can be compiled and run by simply typing make (provided, again, that the rfsm package has been properly installed).

Dependencies (5)

  1. ocaml >= "4.08"
  2. ocamlgraph >= "1.8"
  3. lascar >= "0.6.0"
  4. menhir >= "2.0" & < "20211215"
  5. dune >= "1.11"

Dev Dependencies


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