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Design of an automated validation environment for a radiation hardened MIPS microprocessor

Description

Ever reducing time to market, along with short product lifetimes, has created a need to shorten the microprocessor design time. Verification of the design and its analysis are two major components of this design cycle. Design validation techniques can be

Ever reducing time to market, along with short product lifetimes, has created a need to shorten the microprocessor design time. Verification of the design and its analysis are two major components of this design cycle. Design validation techniques can be broadly classified into two major categories: simulation based approaches and formal techniques. Simulation based microprocessor validation involves running millions of cycles using random or pseudo random tests and allows verification of the register transfer level (RTL) model against an architectural model, i.e., that the processor executes instructions as required. The validation effort involves model checking to a high level description or simulation of the design against the RTL implementation. Formal techniques exhaustively analyze parts of the design but, do not verify RTL against the architecture specification. The focus of this work is to implement a fully automated validation environment for a MIPS based radiation hardened microprocessor using simulation based approaches. The basic framework uses the classical validation approach in which the design to be validated is described in a Hardware Definition Language (HDL) such as VHDL or Verilog. To implement a simulation based approach a number of random or pseudo random tests are generated. The output of the HDL based design is compared against the one obtained from a "perfect" model implementing similar functionality, a mismatch in the results would thus indicate a bug in the HDL based design. Effort is made to design the environment in such a manner that it can support validation during different stages of the design cycle. The validation environment includes appropriate changes so as to support architecture changes which are introduced because of radiation hardening. The manner in which the validation environment is build is highly dependent on the specifications of the perfect model used for comparisons. This work implements the validation environment for two MIPS simulators as the reference model. Two bugs have been discovered in the RTL model, using simulation based approaches through the validation environment.

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Date Created
2011

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A domain-specific approach to verification & validation of software requirements

Description

Gathering and managing software requirements, known as Requirement Engineering (RE), is a significant and basic step during the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). Any error or defect during the RE step will propagate to further steps of SDLC and resolving

Gathering and managing software requirements, known as Requirement Engineering (RE), is a significant and basic step during the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). Any error or defect during the RE step will propagate to further steps of SDLC and resolving it will be more costly than any defect in other steps. In order to produce better quality software, the requirements have to be free of any defects. Verification and Validation (V&V;) of requirements are performed to improve their quality, by performing the V&V; process on the Software Requirement Specification (SRS) document. V&V; of the software requirements focused to a specific domain helps in improving quality. A large database of software requirements from software projects of different domains is created. Software requirements from commercial applications are focus of this project; other domains embedded, mobile, E-commerce, etc. can be the focus of future efforts. The V&V; is done to inspect the requirements and improve the quality. Inspections are done to detect defects in the requirements and three approaches for inspection of software requirements are discussed; ad-hoc techniques, checklists, and scenario-based techniques. A more systematic domain-specific technique is presented for performing V&V; of requirements.

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Date Created
2012

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Model based safety analysis of cyber physical systems

Description

Cyber Physical Systems (CPSs) are systems comprising of computational systems that interact with the physical world to perform sensing, communication, computation and actuation. Common examples of these systems include Body Area Networks (BANs), Autonomous Vehicles (AVs), Power Distribution Systems etc.

Cyber Physical Systems (CPSs) are systems comprising of computational systems that interact with the physical world to perform sensing, communication, computation and actuation. Common examples of these systems include Body Area Networks (BANs), Autonomous Vehicles (AVs), Power Distribution Systems etc. The close coupling between cyber and physical worlds in a CPS manifests in two types of interactions between computing systems and the physical world: intentional and unintentional. Unintentional interactions result from the physical characteristics of the computing systems and often cause harm to the physical world, if the computing nodes are close to each other, these interactions may overlap thereby increasing the chances of causing a Safety hazard. Similarly, due to mobile nature of computing nodes in a CPS planned and unplanned interactions with the physical world occur. These interactions represent the behavior of a computing node while it is following a planned path and during faulty operations. Both of these interactions change over time due to the dynamics (motion) of the computing node and may overlap thereby causing harm to the physical world. Lack of proper modeling and analysis frameworks for these systems causes system designers to use ad-hoc techniques thereby further increasing their design and development time. The thesis addresses these problems by taking a holistic approach to model Computational, Physical and Cyber Physical Interactions (CPIs) aspects of a CPS and proposes modeling constructs for them. These constructs are analyzed using a safety analysis algorithm developed as part of the thesis. The algorithm computes the intersection of CPIs for both mobile as well as static computing nodes and determines the safety of the physical system. A framework is developed by extending AADL to support these modeling constructs; the safety analysis algorithm is implemented as OSATE plug-in. The applicability of the proposed approach is demonstrated by considering the safety of human tissue during the operations of BAN, and the safety of passengers traveling in an Autonomous Vehicle.

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Date Created
2010

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Test-based falsification and conformance testing for cyber-physical systems

Description

In this dissertation, two problems are addressed in the verification and control of Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS):

1) Falsification: given a CPS, and a property of interest that the CPS must satisfy under all allowed operating conditions, does the CPS violate, i.e.

In this dissertation, two problems are addressed in the verification and control of Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS):

1) Falsification: given a CPS, and a property of interest that the CPS must satisfy under all allowed operating conditions, does the CPS violate, i.e. falsify, the property?

2) Conformance testing: given a model of a CPS, and an implementation of that CPS on an embedded platform, how can we characterize the properties satisfied by the implementation, given the properties satisfied by the model?

Both problems arise in the context of Model-Based Design (MBD) of CPS: in MBD, the designers start from a set of formal requirements that the system-to-be-designed must satisfy.

A first model of the system is created.

Because it may not be possible to formally verify the CPS model against the requirements, falsification tries to verify whether the model satisfies the requirements by searching for behavior that violates them.

In the first part of this dissertation, I present improved methods for finding falsifying behaviors of CPS when properties are expressed in Metric Temporal Logic (MTL).

These methods leverage the notion of robust semantics of MTL formulae: if a falsifier exists, it is in the neighborhood of local minimizers of the robustness function.

The proposed algorithms compute descent directions of the robustness function in the space of initial conditions and input signals, and provably converge to local minima of the robustness function.

The initial model of the CPS is then iteratively refined by modeling previously ignored phenomena, adding more functionality, etc., with each refinement resulting in a new model.

Many of the refinements in the MBD process described above do not provide an a priori guaranteed relation between the successive models.

Thus, the second problem above arises: how to quantify the distance between two successive models M_n and M_{n+1}?

If M_n has been verified to satisfy the specification, can it be guaranteed that M_{n+1} also satisfies the same, or some closely related, specification?

This dissertation answers both questions for a general class of CPS, and properties expressed in MTL.

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Date Created
2015

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Search-based Test Generation for Automated Driving Systems: From Perception to Control Logic

Description

Automated driving systems are in an intensive research and development stage, and the companies developing these systems are targeting to deploy them on public roads in a very near future. Guaranteeing safe operation of these systems is crucial as they

Automated driving systems are in an intensive research and development stage, and the companies developing these systems are targeting to deploy them on public roads in a very near future. Guaranteeing safe operation of these systems is crucial as they are planned to carry passengers and share the road with other vehicles and pedestrians. Yet, there is no agreed-upon approach on how and in what detail those systems should be tested. Different organizations have different testing approaches, and one common approach is to combine simulation-based testing with real-world driving.

One of the expectations from fully-automated vehicles is never to cause an accident. However, an automated vehicle may not be able to avoid all collisions, e.g., the collisions caused by other road occupants. Hence, it is important for the system designers to understand the boundary case scenarios where an autonomous vehicle can no longer avoid a collision. Besides safety, there are other expectations from automated vehicles such as comfortable driving and minimal fuel consumption. All safety and functional expectations from an automated driving system should be captured with a set of system requirements. It is challenging to create requirements that are unambiguous and usable for the design, testing, and evaluation of automated driving systems. Another challenge is to define useful metrics for assessing the testing quality because in general, it is impossible to test every possible scenario.

The goal of this dissertation is to formalize the theory for testing automated vehicles. Various methods for automatic test generation for automated-driving systems in simulation environments are presented and compared. The contributions presented in this dissertation include (i) new metrics that can be used to discover the boundary cases between safe and unsafe driving conditions, (ii) a new approach that combines combinatorial testing and optimization-guided test generation methods, (iii) approaches that utilize global optimization methods and random exploration to generate critical vehicle and pedestrian trajectories for testing purposes, (iv) a publicly-available simulation-based automated vehicle testing framework that enables application of the existing testing approaches in the literature, including the new approaches presented in this dissertation.

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Date Created
2019

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Formal Requirements-Driven Analysis of Cyber Physical Systems

Description

Testing and Verification of Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) is a challenging problem. The challenge arises as a result of the complex interactions between the components of these systems: the digital control, and the physical environment. Furthermore, the software complexity that governs

Testing and Verification of Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) is a challenging problem. The challenge arises as a result of the complex interactions between the components of these systems: the digital control, and the physical environment. Furthermore, the software complexity that governs the high-level control logic in these systems is increasing day by day. As a result, in recent years, both the academic community and the industry have been heavily invested in developing tools and methodologies for the development of safety-critical systems. One scalable approach in testing and verification of these systems is through guided system simulation using stochastic optimization techniques. The goal of the stochastic optimizer is to find system behavior that does not meet the intended specifications.

In this dissertation, three methods that facilitate the testing and verification process for CPS are presented:

1. A graphical formalism and tool which enables the elicitation of formal requirements. To evaluate the performance of the tool, a usability study is conducted.

2. A parameter mining method to infer, analyze, and visually represent falsifying ranges for parametrized system specifications.

3. A notion of conformance between a CPS model and implementation along with a testing framework.

The methods are evaluated over high-fidelity case studies from the industry.

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Date Created
2017