Verimag

Seminar details

salle A. Turing CE4
25 April 2013 - 14h00
Mining Temporal Requirements of an Industrial-Scale Control System
by Deshmukh Jyotirmoy from Toyota



Abstract: Industrial-scale control systems are often developed in the model-based design paradigm. This typically involves capturing a plant model that describes the dynamical characteristics of the physical processes within the system, and a controller model, which is a block-diagram-based
representation of the software used to regulate the plant behavior. In practice, plant models and controller models are highly complex as they can contain highly nonlinear hybrid dynamics, look-up tables storing pre-computed values, several levels of design-hierarchy, design-blocks that operate at different frequencies, and so on. Moreover, the biggest challenge is that system requirements are often imprecise, non-modular, evolving, or even simply unknown. As a result, formal techniques have been unable to digest the scale and format of industrial-scale control systems.

On the other hand, the Simulink modeling language -- a popular language for describing such models -- is widely used as a high-fidelity simulation tool in the industry, and is routinely used by control designers to experimentally validate their controller designs. This raises the question: "What can we accomplish if all we have is a very complex Simulink model of a control system?"

In this talk, we give an example of a simulation-guided formal technique that can help characterize temporal properties of the system, or guide the search for design behaviors that do not conform to "good behavior". Specifically, we present a way to algorithmically mine temporal assertions from a Simulink model. The input to our algorithm is a requirement template expressed in Parametric Signal Temporal Logic -- a formalism to express temporal formulas in which concrete signal or time values are replaced by parameters. Our algorithm is an instance of counterexample-guided inductive synthesis: an intermediate candidate requirement is synthesized from simulation traces of the system, which is refined using counterexamples to the candidate obtained with the help of a falsification tool. The algorithm terminates when no counterexample is found. Mining has many usage scenarios: mined requirements can be used to validate future modifications of the model, they can be used to enhance understanding of legacy models, and can also guide the process of bug-finding through simulations.

(joint work with X. Jin, A. Donze, S. Seshia).




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