An Automata-Theoretic Approach to Open Actor System Verification

  • Open distributed systems are a class of distributed systems where (i) only partial information about the environment, in which they are running, is present, (ii) new resources may become available at runtime, and (iii) a subsystem may become aware of other subsystems after some interaction. Modeling and implementing such systems correctly is a complex task due to the openness and the dynamicity aspects. One way to ensure that the resulting systems behave correctly is to utilize formal verification. Formal verification requires an adequate semantic model of the implementation, a specification of the desired behavior, and a reasoning technique. The actor model is a semantic model that captures the challenging aspects of open distributed systems by utilizing actors as universal primitives to represent system entities and allowing them to create new actors and to communicate by sending directed messages as reply to received messages. To enable compositional reasoning, where the reasoning task is reduced to independent verification of the system parts, semantic entities at a higher level of abstraction than actors are needed. This thesis proposes an automaton model and combines sound reasoning techniques to compositionally verify implementations of open actor systems. Based on I/O automata, the model allows automata to be created dynamically and captures dynamic changes in communication patterns. Each automaton represents either an actor or a group of actors. The specification of the desired behavior is given constructively as an automaton. As the basis for compositionality, we formalize a component notion based on the static structure of the implementation instead of the dynamic entities (the actors) occurring in the system execution. The reasoning proceeds in two stages. The first stage establishes the connection between the automata representing single actors and their implementation description by means of weakest liberal preconditions. The second stage employs this result as the basis for verifying whether a component specification is satisfied. The verification is done by building a simulation relation from the automaton representing the implementation to the component's automaton. Finally, we validate the compositional verification approach through a number of examples by proving correctness of their actor implementations with respect to system specifications.

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Author:Ilham W. Kurnia
Advisor:Arnd Poetzsch-Heffter
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Language of publication:English
Date of Publication (online):2015/08/03
Year of first Publication:2015
Publishing Institution:Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Granting Institution:Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Acceptance Date of the Thesis:2015/01/23
Date of the Publication (Server):2015/03/09
Page Number:XIX, 254
Faculties / Organisational entities:Kaiserslautern - Fachbereich Informatik
CCS-Classification (computer science):F. Theory of Computation / F.3 LOGICS AND MEANINGS OF PROGRAMS / F.3.1 Specifying and Verifying and Reasoning about Programs (D.2.1, D.2.4, D.3.1, E.1) / Specification techniques
DDC-Cassification:0 Allgemeines, Informatik, Informationswissenschaft / 004 Informatik
Licence (German):Standard gemäß KLUEDO-Leitlinien vom 13.02.2015