Automatically ‘Verifying’ Discrete-Time Complex Systems through Learning, Abstraction and Refinement

Jingyi Wang, Jun Sun, Shengchao Qin, Cyrille Jegourel

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Precisely modeling complex systems like cyber-physical systems is challenging, which often render model-based system verification techniques like model checking infeasible. To overcome this challenge, we propose a method called LAR to automatically ‘verify’ such complex systems through a combination of learning, abstraction and refinement from a set of system log traces. We assume that log traces and sampling frequency are adequate to capture ‘enough’ behaviour of the system. Given a safety property and the concrete system log traces as input, LAR automatically learns and refines system models, and produces two kinds of outputs. One is a counterexample with a bounded probability of being spurious. The other is a probabilistic model based on which the given property is ‘verified’. The model can be viewed as a proof obligation, i.e., the property is verified if the model is correct. It can also be used for subsequent system analysis activities like runtime monitoring or model-based testing. Our method has been implemented as a self-contained software toolkit. The evaluation on multiple benchmark systems as well as a real-world water treatment system shows promising results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-203
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Software Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2018


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