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Towards a Verification-Driven Iterative Development of Software for Safety-Critical Cyber-Physical Systems

  • Sirjani, Marjan1, 2
  • Provenzano, Luciana1
  • Asadollah, Sara Abbaspour1
  • Moghadam, Mahshid Helali1, 3
  • Saadatmand, Mehrdad3
  • 1 Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden , Västerås (Sweden)
  • 2 Reykjavik University, Reykjavik, Iceland , Reykjavik (Iceland)
  • 3 RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Västerås, Sweden , Västerås (Sweden)
Published Article
Journal of Internet Services and Applications
Springer London
Publication Date
May 24, 2021
DOI: 10.1186/s13174-021-00132-z
Springer Nature


Software systems are complicated, and the scientific and engineering methodologies for software development are relatively young. Cyber-physical systems are now in every corner of our lives, and we need robust methods for handling the ever-increasing complexity of their software systems. Model-Driven Development is a promising approach to tackle the complexity of systems through the concept of abstraction, enabling analysis at earlier phases of development. In this paper, we propose a model-driven approach with a focus on guaranteeing safety using formal verification. Cyber-physical systems are distributed, concurrent, asynchronous and event-based reactive systems with timing constraints. The actor-based textual modeling language, Rebeca, with model checking support is used for formal verification. Starting from structured requirements and system architecture design the behavioral models, including Rebeca models, are built. Properties of interest are also derived from the structured requirements, and then model checking is used to formally verify the properties. This process can be performed in iterations until satisfaction of desired properties are ensured, and possible ambiguities and inconsistencies in requirements are resolved. The formally verified models can then be used to develop the executable code. The Rebeca models include the details of the signals and messages that are passed at the network level including the timing, and this facilitates the generation of executable code. The natural mappings among the models for requirements, the formal models, and the executable code improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the approach.

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