Cyber-Physical Specification Mismatch Identification with Dynamic Analysis

Taylor T. Johnson, Stanley Bak, Steven Drager

Embedded systems use increasingly complex software and are evolving into cyber-physical systems (CPS) with sophisticated interaction and coupling between physical and computational processes. Many CPS operate in safety-critical environments and have stringent certification, reliability, and correctness requirements. These systems often undergo changes throughout their lifetimes, where either the software or physical hardware is updated in subsequent design iterations. One source of failure in safety-critical CPS is when there are unstated assumptions in either the physical or cyber parts of the system, and new components do not match those assumptions. In this work, we present an automated method towards identifying unstated assumptions in CPS. Dynamic specifications in the form of candidate invariants of both the software and physical components are identified using dynamic analysis (executing and/or simulating the system implementation or model thereof). A prototype tool called Hynger (for HYbrid iNvariant GEneratoR) was developed that instruments Simulink/Stateflow (SLSF) model diagrams to generate traces in the input format compatible with the Daikon invariant inference tool, which has been extensively applied to software systems. Hynger, in conjunction with Daikon, is able to detect candidate invariants of several CPS case studies. We use the running example of a DC-to-DC power converter, and demonstrate that Hynger can detect a specification mismatch where a tolerance assumed by the software is violated due to a plant change.

ICCPS 2015 Paper (pdf)

Hynger Bitbucket Repository

If you need any help using Hynger or have suggestions, please feel free to contact Taylor Johnson.

Hynger was developed with exlusive support provided by the Air Force Research Laboratory during the summer 2014 Visiting Faculty Research Program (VFRP) at the Information Directorate, in Rome, NY.