Recent Publications

Masci P, Oladimeji P, Zhang Y, Jones P, Curzon P, Thimbleby H.  2015.  PVSio-web 2.0: Joining PVS to Human-Computer Interaction. 27th International Conference on Computer Aided Verification (CAV2015). Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 9206, 2015. Abstractpvsioweb-cav2015.pdf

PVSio-web is a graphical environment for facilitating the design and evaluation of interactive (human-computer) systems. Using PVSio-web, one can generate and evaluate realistic interactive prototypes from formal models. PVSio-web has been successfully used over the last two years for analyzing commercial, safety-critical medical devices. It has been used to create training material for device developers and device users. It has also been used for medical device design, by both formal methods experts and non-technical end users.

This paper presents the latest release of PVSio-web 2.0, which will be part of the next PVS distribution. The new tool architecture is discussed, and the rationale behind its design choices are presented

Masci P, Couto LD, Larsen PG, Curzon P.  2015.  Integrating the PVSio-web modelling and prototyping environment with Overture. 13th Overture Workshop, satellite event of FM2015. Abstractpvsioweb-overture2015.pdf

Tools are needed that overcome the barriers preventing development teams using formal verification technologies. We present our work integrating PVSio-web with the Overture development and analysis environment for VDM. PVSio-web is a graphical environment for modelling and prototyping interactive systems. Prototypes developed within PVSio-web can closely resemble the visual appearance and behaviour of a real system. The behaviour of the prototypes is entirely driven by executable formal models. These formal models can be generated automatically from Emucharts, graphical diagrams based on the Statechart notation. Emucharts conveniently hides aspects of the formal syntax that create barriers for developers and domain experts who are new to formal methods. Here, we present the implementation of a VDM-SL model generator for Emucharts. An example is presented based on a medical device. It demonstrates the benefits of using Emucharts to develop a formal model, how PVSio-web can be used to perform lightweight formal analysis, and how the developed VDM-SL model generator can be used to produce a model that can be further analysed within Overture.

Masci P, Mallozzi P, DeAngelis FL, Serugendo GDM, Curzon P.  2015.  Using PVSio-web and SAPERE for rapid prototyping of user interfaces in Integrated Clinical Environments. Verisure2015, Workshop on Verification and Assurance, co-located with CAV2015. Abstractpvsioweb-sapere-verisure2015.pdf

Integrated clinical environments (ICEs) consist of interoperable medical devices that seamlessly exchange data and commands to create safety interlocks and closed loop controls to improve the quality of care delivered to the patient. Currently at the prototype stage, they promise to form the basis of a new generation of healthcare systems for high acuity patients. Regulators such as the US Food and Drug Administration are promoting the development of tools and techniques for verification and validation of essential safety requirements for ICEs. To date, little research has focused on the certification and assurance of their user interfaces with respect to use errors. In this work, we demonstrate how the PVSio-web prototyping tool can be conveniently used in combination with the communication framework SAPERE to generate realistic ICE systems prototypes from formal models. This approach is particularly suitable for exploring requirements, design, and regulatory issues of usability and safety of the user interfaces of ICE systems. An example ICE system prototype is presented, along with an example analysis demonstrating how the prototype can be used to explore subtle user interface design issues that could lead to usability and safety hazards in clinical scenarios.

Neves F, Pereira JO, Vilaça R, Oliveira R.  2015.  Otimização do HBase para dados estruturados. INForum 2015. :235-247. Abstractpscan.pdf

Os sistemas NoSQL escalam melhor que os tradicionais sistemas relacionais, motivando a migração de inúmeras aplicações para sistemas NoSQL mesmo quando não se tira partido da estrutura de dados dinâmica por eles fornecida. Porém, a consulta destes dados estruturados tem um custo adicional que deriva da flexibilidade dos sistemas NoSQL. Neste documento, analisa-se esse custo no Apache HBase e apresenta-se o Prepared Scan, uma operação adicional de consulta que visa tirar partido do conhecimento da estrutura de dados por parte da aplicação, diminuindo assim o custo associado à consulta de dados estruturados. Recorrendo à ferramenta de benchmarking YCSB, verifica-se que esta solução tem um aumento no débito de aproximadamente 29%.

Pedro AM, Pereira D, Pinho LM, Pinto JS.  2015.  Monitoring for a Decidable Fragment of Mtl-∫. In Proceedings of Runtime Verification - 6Th International Conference, Rv 2015 . 9333 Abstract2015_rv_15.pdf

Temporal logics targeting real-time systems are traditionally undecidable. Based on a restricted fragment of MTL-∫, we propose a new approach for the runtime verification of hard real-time systems. The novelty of our technique is that it is based on incremental evaluation, allowing us to effectively treat duration properties (which play a crucial role in real-time systems). We describe the two levels of operation of our approach: offline simplification by quantifier removal techniques; and online evaluation of a three-valued interpretation for formulas of our fragment. Our experiments show the applicability of this mechanism as well as the validity of the provided complexity results.

Machado M, Campos JC, Couto R.  2015.  MODUS: uma metodologia de prototipagem de interfaces baseada em modelos. Inforum 2015: Atas do 7º Simpósio Nacional de Informática. :17-32.inforum-2015.pdf
Masci P, Oladimeji P, Mallozzi P, Curzon P, Thimbleby H.  2015.  PVSio-web: mathematically based tool support for the design of interactive and interoperable medical systems. 5th EAI International Conference on Wireless Mobile Communication and Healthcare - "Transforming healthcare through innovations in mobile and wireless technologies". Abstractmobihealth-pvsioweb.pdf

Use errors, where medical devices work to specification but lead to the clinicians making mistakes resulting in patient harm, is a critical problem. Manufacturers need tools to help them find such design flaws at an early stage and regulators need tools to help check devices are safe to approve for market. We have developed a prototyping tool, PVSio-web, to help check the safety of medical device interface and interaction design. It supports a model-based design process: that is, it is based on precise mathematical descriptions of the device's behaviour. This allows sophisticated proof and model checking technology to be used to verify that devices meet essential safety requirements. The architecture allows for the flexible addition of `plug-in' modules to extend its functionality giving different views of the design that allow different stakeholders to work together. Working with the US regulator, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), our tool has helped identify problems in a series of commercial medical devices. Hospitals have used it as part of training programmes highlighting safety-related design issues. In ongoing work we are developing plug-ins that support the verification and validation of interoperable medical systems.

Masci P, Curzon P, Thimbleby H.  2015.  Early identification of software causes of use-related hazards in medical devices. 5th EAI International Conference on Wireless Mobile Communication and Healthcare - "Transforming healthcare through innovations . Abstractmobihealth-hazard-analysis.pdf

A hazard is a potential source of physical injury or damage to people or environment, and a hazard analysis is the process of identifying all known and foreseeable hazards and their causes in a system. In this paper, we illustrate our ongoing work in collaboration with the FDA on defining a hazard analysis technique for early identification of the causes in user interface software design of use-related hazards. The technique integrates human cognitive process models and general interaction design principles, and uses a model-based approach for systematic exploration of potential hazards. Preliminary experiments suggest that this hazard analysis technique can substantially improve the identification of use-related hazards at the early stages of software design as compared to standard hazard analysis techniques.

Bernardeschi C, Domenici A, Masci P.  2015.  Towards a Formalization of System Requirements for an Integrated Clinical Environment. 5th EAI International Conference on Wireless Mobile Communication and Healthcare - "Transforming healthcare through innovations in mobile and wireless technologies". mobihealth-requirements.pdf
Oladimeji P, Thimbleby H, Masci P, Curzon P.  2015.  Issues in number entry user interface styles: Recommendations for mitigation. 5th EAI International Conference on Wireless Mobile Communication and Healthcare - "Transforming healthcare through innovations in mobile and wireless technologies". mobihealth-numbers.pdf
Matos M, Mercier H, Felber P, Oliveira R, Pereira JO.  2015.  EpTO: An Epidemic Total Order Algorithm for Large-Scale Distributed Systems. Proceedings of the 16th Annual Middleware Conference. :100–111. Abstractp100-matos.pdf


Harrison M, Campos J, Masci P, Curzon P.  2015.  Templates as heuristics for proving properties of medical devices. 5th EAI International Conference on Wireless Mobile Communication and Healthcare - "Transforming healthcare through innovations in mobile and wireless technologies". antennatemplatesv5-final.pdf
Campos JC, Silva JL, Harrison M.  2015.  Supporting the Design of an Ambient Assisted Living System Using Virtual Reality Prototypes. Ambient Assisted Living. ICT-based Solutions in Real Life Situations. 9455:49-61.authorsversion.pdf
Couto M, Cunha J, Fernandes JP, Pereira R, Saraiva JA.  2015.  GreenDroid: A tool for analysing power consumption in the android ecosystem. Scientific Conference on Informatics, 2015 IEEE 13th International. :73-78. Abstractinformatics2015_51_marcocouto.pdf