Recent Publications

Bernardeschi C, Cassano L, Domenici A, Masci P.  2010.  Analysis of FPGAs Using the SAN Formalism. Technical Report, University of Pisa - Department of Information Engineering. Abstract

We describe a model of FPGA based systems realised with the Stochastic Activity Networks (SAN) formalism. The model can be used (i) to debug the FPGA circuit design synthesised from the high level description of the system, and (ii) to calculate the signal probabilities and transition densities of the FPGA circuit design, that can be used for reliability analysis, power consumption estimation and pseudo random testing of digital circuit design. We validate the model by reproducing results presented in other studies for some representative combinatorial circuits, and we explore the applicability of the model in the analysis of real-world devices by studying a circuit for the generation of CRC codes.

Matos M, Sousa AL, Pereira JO, Oliveira R.  2009.  CLON: Overlay Networks and Gossip Protocols for Cloud Environments. Abstractcctc-clon.pdf

Although epidemic or gossip-based multicast is a robust and scalable approach to reliable data dissemination in distributed systems, its inherent redundancy may result in high resource consumption both on links and nodes. This problem is aggravated in settings that have costlier or resource constrained links, as happens in Cloud Computing infrastructures composed by several interconnected large data centers across the globe. The goal of this work is therefore to improve the efficiency of gossip-based reliable multicast used in infrastructure management systems by reducing the load imposed on those constrained links. In detail, the proposed CLON protocol combines an overlay that gives preference to local links and a dissemination strategy that takes into account locality. Extensive experimental evaluation using a very large number of simulated nodes shows that this results in a reduction of traffic in constrained links by an order of magnitude, while at the same time preserving the resilience properties that make gossip-based protocols so attractive.

da Cruz D, Oliveira N, Henriques PR.  2009.  GraAL - A Grammar Analyzer.
Silva P, Oliveira JN.  2008.  Report on the Design of a Galculator. Abstracttechicalreport-fast-08-01.pdf

This report presents the Galculator, a tool aimed at deriving equational proofs in arbitrary domains using Galois connections as the fundamental concept. When combined with the pointfree transform and the indirect equality principle, Galois connections offer a very powerful, generic device to tackle the complexity of proofs in program verification.

We show how rewriting rules derived from the properties of the Galois connections are applied in proofs using a strategic term rewriting system which, in the current prototype, is implemented in Haskell. The prospect of integrating the Galculator with other proof assistants such as e.g. Coq is also discussed.

Abreu R, Zoeteweij P, Van Gemund AJC.  2008.  Techniques for diagnosing software faults. Abstract0deec52dfd785cc945000000_1.pdf

This technical report is meant to report our findings and ideas with respect to spectrum-based fault localization and model-based diagnosis. In the following we want to introduce and compare model-based diagnosis (MBD), spectrum-based fault localization (SFL) and our contributions using 3-inverters as a running example (which is simple, yet sufficiently interesting).The remainder of this paper is organized as follows. The concepts and definitions used in this paper are given in the next section. The combination of model-based diagnosis and Bayesian reasoning, as it is normally applied to, e.g., digital circuits, is discussed in Section 3. Spectrum-based fault localization, including the system transformation for instrumentation to collect data to reason about failures is discussed in Section 4.1. In Section 4.2 we investigate several novel approaches for applying model-based diagnosis, and notably Bayesian reasoning to systems that have been prepared for spectrum-based fault localization.

Jesus P, Moreno CB, Almeida PS.  2007.  A Study on Aggregation by Averaging Algorithms. Abstractjesus-eurosys2007b.pdf

With the advent of multihop ad-hoc networks, sensor networks and large scale overlay networks, there is a demand for tools that can abstract meaningful system properties from given assemblies of nodes. Distributed aggregation algorithms allow the evaluation of properties such as: network size; total storage capacity; average load; and majorities. A useful class of aggregation algorithms is based on averaging techniques. Such algorithms start from a set of input values spread across the nodes, and iteratively average the values in neighbour nodes that are able to communicate. Eventually all nodes will converge to the same value and can estimate some useful metric. For instance, if one node starts with input 1 and all other nodes with input 0, eventually all nodes will end up with the same value and the aggregate property network size can be estimated by the fraction 1.

Zoeteweij P, Abreu R, Van Gemund AJC.  2007.  Software fault diagnosis. A Tutorial in TESTCOM/FATES. Abstracttutorial_paper.pdf

This tutorial paper gives an overview of automated diagnosis applied to software faults. The emphasis is on a particular technique called spectrum-based fault localization, which is well-suited for diagnosing software systems, and which can easily be integrated with existing testing schemes. We discuss applications of the technique, including the specific application domain of embedded software, and provide pointers to recent research on factors that influence its diagnostic accuracy. In addition, we give instructions for quickly getting started with applying spectrum-based fault localization to existing projects.

Sousa N, Campos JC.  2006.  IVY Trace Visualizer. Abstract17_yvy_jose_campos_1.pdf

No contexto do projecto IVY, tem vindo a ser desenvolvida uma ferramenta de modelação e análise de sistemas interactivos, tendo em vista a detecção de potenciais problemas de usabilidade no início do desenvolvimento de um qualquer sistema interactivo. Quando uma dada propriedade em análise não se verifica, a ferramenta procura indicar um contraxemplo: um comportamento do modelo que demonstre a falsidade da propriedade em questão. Estes contra-exemplos, no entanto, podem atingir tamanhos consideráveis, dependendo da complexidade do modelo, o que dificulta a sua análise. De forma a facilitar essa análise, a arquitectura da ferramenta IVY prevê um componente de suporte à análise. Este componente visa, através de representações visuais e de mecanismos de análise, facilitar a compreensão dos contra exemplos, de forma a tornar mais claro qual o problema que está a ser apontado e possíveis soluções para o mesmo. Este artigo apresenta o componente de análise da ferramenta IVY. São apresentadas a arquitectura do componente, as representações implementadas e os mecanismos de análise disponibilizados.

Sousa N, Campos JC.  2006.  Um visualizador de traços de comportamento para a ferramenta IVY. Abstractivy-tr-5-03.pdf

This report describes the development of a component (Trace Visualiser) for a modular tool named IVY (Interactors VerYfier).

Harrison M, Doherty G, Campos JC.  2005.  Is there a role for rigorous system analysis in experience centred design? Abstractmdhmauserev8.pdf

This chapter explores the role that formal modelling may play in aiding the visualization and implementation of usability, with a particular emphasis on experience requirements in an ambient and mobile system. Mechanisms for requirements elicitation and evaluation are discussed, as well as the role of scenarios and their limitations in capturing experience requirements. The chapter then discusses the role of formal modelling by revisiting an analysis based on an exploration of traditional usability requirements before moving on to consider requirements more appropriate to a built environment. The role of modelling within the development process is re-examined by looking at how models may incorporate knowledge relating to user experience, and how the results of the analysis of such models may be exploited by human factors and domain experts in their consideration of user experience issues.

Ridder A, Posadas F, Campos JC.  2005.  Technical Guide for the Visualiser Component.
Campos JC.  2004.  Interactors as Boundary Objects. Abstractcamposch01ws.pdf

Too often software engineers see the user interface as a last layer that must be placed on top of the functional (or business logic) layer in order (simply?) to enable users access to its functionality. This vision rests on the assumption that all the application’s logic is at the functional level, and is independent of the user interface. The user interface then is simply a information transmission layer between the user and the “application” (i.e., the functional layer).