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Analysis and Verification of Complex Robot Systems using Behaviour-Based Control

  • The development of autonomous mobile robots is a major topic of current research. As those robots must be able to react to changing environments and avoid collisions also with moving obstacles, the fulfilment of safety requirements is an important aspect. Behaviour-based systems (BBS) have proven to meet several of the properties required for these kindsof robots, such as reactivity, extensibility and re-usability of individual components. BBS consist of a number of behavioural components that individually realise simple tasks. Their interconnection allows to achieve complex robot behaviour, which implies that correct connections are crucial. The resulting networks can get very large making them difficult to verify. This dissertation presents a novel concept for the analysis and verification of complex autonomous robot systems controlled by behaviour-based software architectures with special focus on the integration of environmental aspects into the processes. Several analysis techniques have been investigated and adapted to the special requirements of BBS. These include a structural analysis, which is used to find constraint violations and faults in the network layout. Fault tree analysis is applied to identify root causes of hazards and the relationship of system events. For this, a technique to map the behaviour-based control network to the structure of a fault tree has been developed. Testing and data analysis are used for the detection of failures and their root causes. Here, a new concept that identifies patterns in data recorded during test runs has been introduced. All of these methods cannot guarantee failure-free and safe robot behaviour and can never prove the absence of failures. Therefore, model checking as formal verification technique that proves a property to be correct for the given system, has been chosen to complement the set of analysis techniques. A novel concept for the integration of environmental influences into the model checking process is proposed. Environmental situations and the sensor processing chain are represented as synchronised automata similar to the modelling of the behavioural network. Tools supporting the whole verification process including the creation of formal queries in its environment have been developed. During the verification of large behavioural networks, the scalability of the model checking approach appears as a big problem. Several approaches that deal with this problem have been investigated and the selection of slicing and abstraction methods has been justified. A concept for the application of these methods is provided, that reduces the behavioural network to the relevant parts before the actual verification process. All techniques have been applied to the behaviour-based control system of the autonomous outdoor robot RAVON. Its complex network with more than 400 components allows for demonstrating the soundness of the presented concepts. The set of different techniques provides a fundamental basis for a comprehensive analysis and verification of BBS acting in changing environments.

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Author:Lisa Kiekbusch
URN (permanent link):urn:nbn:de:hbz:386-kluedo-46162
Advisor:Karsten Berns, Peter Liggesmeyer
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Language of publication:English
Publication Date:2017/03/14
Year of Publication:2017
Publishing Institute:Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Granting Institute:Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Acceptance Date of the Thesis:2016/11/25
Date of the Publication (Server):2017/03/15
Number of page:VI, 150
Faculties / Organisational entities:Fachbereich Informatik
DDC-Cassification:0 Allgemeines, Informatik, Informationswissenschaft / 004 Informatik
Licence (German):Creative Commons 4.0 - Namensnennung, nicht kommerziell, keine Bearbeitung (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)