Cheng and McKinley receive award from U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory

Betty Cheng and Philip McKinley, Professors in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Michigan State University have been awarded a research grant from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory for a project titled "X-PLORE: Combining Model-Driven Engineering, Bio-Inspiration, and Formal Analysis to Mitigate Uncertainty in High-Assurance Software Systems."

Increasingly, computer systems are expected to deliver acceptable and trusted behavior despite highly dynamic and uncertain operating conditions. The designer of such a system is faced with a challenging set of tasks: anticipating and characterizing states in which the system will operate; enabling the system to accommodate changing requirements; and ensuring that newly added functionality (possibly from third-party providers) will produce expected overall system behavior.

The primary objective of the X-PLORE project is to integrate evolutionary search algorithms and formal analysis methods in order to support the modeling, analysis, and mitigation of two broad categories of uncertainty in software systems. External uncertainty refers to aspects of the operating environment (including adverse conditions in the physical environment and unexpected human interaction) that can lead to suboptimal, and possibly catastrophic, results as the system tries to handle mischaracterized conditions. Internal uncertainty includes (unwanted) feature interaction among system components as well as unexpected component behavior due to software updates and reconfiguration. A particular focus of the X-PLORE project is on cyber-physical systems, which contain both discrete and continuous components and whose combination increases uncertainty and complicates the problem of providing system assurance.

(Date Posted: 2016-08-11)