University of Minnesota
Software Engineering Center
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Critical Systems Research Group

The Critical Systems Research Group’s (CriSys) research interests are in the general area of software engineering; in particular, software development for critical software applications — applications where incorrect operation of the software could lead to loss of life, substantial material or environmental damage, or large monetary losses. The long-term goal of our research activities is the development of a comprehensive framework for the development of software for critical software systems. Our work has focused on some of the most difficult and least understood aspects of software development—requirements specification and validation/verification.

Recent Publications

Hierarchical Multi-Formalism Proofs of Cyber-Physical Systems

To manage design complexity and provide verification tractability, models of complex cyber-physical systems are typically hierarchically organized into multiple abstraction layers. High-level analysis explores interactions of the system with its physical environment, while embedded software is developed separately based on derived requirements. This separation of lowlevel and high-level analysis also gives hope to scalability, because we are able to use tools that are appropriate for each level. When attempting to perform compositional reasoning in such an

The Risks of Coverage-Directed Test Case Generation

A number of structural coverage criteria have been proposed to measure the adequacy of testing efforts. In the avionics and other critical systems domains, test suites satisfying structural coverage criteria are mandated by standards. With the advent of powerful automated test generation tools, it is tempting to simply generate test inputs to satisfy these structural coverage criteria. However, while techniques to produce coverage-providing tests are well established, the effectiveness of such approaches in terms of fault detection ability has not been adequately studied.

Machine-Checked Proofs For Realizability Checking Algorithms

Virtual integration techniques focus on building architectural models of systems that can be analyzed early in the design cycle to try to lower cost, reduce risk, and improve quality of complex embedded systems. Given appropriate architectural descriptions, assume/guarantee contracts, and compositional reasoning rules, these techniques can be used to prove important safety properties about the architecture prior to system construction.

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