Distributed systems are omnipresent nowadays and networking them is fundamental for the continuous dissemination and thus availability of data. Provision of data in real-time is one of the most important non-functional aspects that safety-critical networks must guarantee. Formal verification of data communication against worst-case deadline requirements is key to certification of emerging x-by-wire systems. Verification allows aircraft to take off, cars to steer by wire, and safety-critical industrial facilities to operate. Therefore, different methodologies for worst-case modeling and analysis of real-time systems have been established. Among them is deterministic Network Calculus (NC), a versatile technique that is applicable across multiple domains such as packet switching, task scheduling, system on chip, software-defined networking, data center networking and network virtualization. NC is a methodology to derive deterministic bounds on two crucial performance metrics of communication systems:
(a) the end-to-end delay data flows experience and
(b) the buffer space required by a server to queue all incoming data.
NC has already seen application in the industry, for instance, basic results have been used to certify the backbone network of the Airbus A380 aircraft.
The NC methodology for worst-case performance analysis of distributed real-time systems consists of two branches. Both share the NC network model but diverge regarding their respective derivation of performance bounds, i.e., their analysis principle. NC was created as a deterministic system theory for queueing analysis and its operations were later cast in a (min,+)-algebraic framework. This branch is known as algebraic Network Calculus (algNC). While algNC can efficiently compute bounds on delay and backlog, the algebraic manipulations do not allow NC to attain the most accurate bounds achievable for the given network model. These tight performance bounds can only be attained with the other, newly established branch of NC, the optimization-based analysis (optNC). However, the only optNC analysis that can currently derive tight bounds was proven to be computationally infeasible even for the analysis of moderately sized networks other than simple sequences of servers.
This thesis makes various contributions in the area of algNC: accuracy within the existing framework is improved, distributivity of the sensor network calculus analysis is established, and most significantly the algNC is extended with optimization principles. They allow algNC to derive performance bounds that are competitive with optNC. Moreover, the computational efficiency of the new NC approach is improved such that this thesis presents the first NC analysis that is both accurate and computationally feasible at the same time. It allows NC to scale to larger, more complex systems that require formal verification of their real-time capabilities.
The Context and Its Importance: In safety and reliability analysis, the information generated by Minimal Cut Set (MCS) analysis is large.
The Top Level event (TLE) that is the root of the fault tree (FT) represents a hazardous state of the system being analyzed.
MCS analysis helps in analyzing the fault tree (FT) qualitatively-and quantitatively when accompanied with quantitative measures.
The information shows the bottlenecks in the fault tree design leading to identifying weaknesses of the system being examined.
Safety analysis (containing the MCS analysis) is especially important for critical systems, where harm can be done to the environment or human causing injuries, or even death during the system usage.
Minimal Cut Set (MCS) analysis is performed using computers and generating a lot of information.
This phase is called MCS analysis I in this thesis.
The information is then analyzed by the analysts to determine possible issues and to improve the design of the system regarding its safety as early as possible.
This phase is called MCS analysis II in this thesis.
The goal of my thesis was developing interactive visualizations to support MCS analysis II of one fault tree (FT).
The Methodology: As safety visualization-in this thesis, Minimal Cut Set analysis II visualization-is an emerging field and no complete checklist regarding Minimal Cut Set analysis II requirements and gaps were available from the perspective of visualization and interaction capabilities,
I have conducted multiple studies using different methods with different data sources (i.e., triangulation of methods and data) for determining these requirements and gaps before developing and evaluating visualizations and interactions supporting Minimal Cut Set analysis II.
Thus, the following approach was taken in my thesis:
1- First, a triangulation of mixed methods and data sources was conducted.
2- Then, four novel interactive visualizations and one novel interaction widget were developed.
3- Finally, these interactive visualizations were evaluated both objectively and subjectively (compared to multiple safety tools)
from the point of view of users and developers of the safety tools that perform MCS analysis I with respect to their degree in supporting MCS analysis II and from the point of non-domain people using empirical strategies.
The Spiral tool supports analysts with different visions, i.e., full vision, color deficiency protanopia, deuteranopia, and tritanopia. It supports 100 out of 103 (97%) requirements obtained from the triangulation and it fills 37 out of 39 (95%) gaps. Its usability was rated high (better than their best currently used tools) by the users of the safety and reliability tools (RiskSpectrum, ESSaRel, FaultTree+, and a self-developed tool) and at least similar to the best currently used tools from the point of view of the CAFTA tool developers. Its quality was higher regarding its degree of supporting MCS analysis II compared to the FaultTree+ tool. The time spent for discovering the critical MCSs from a problem size of 540 MCSs (with a worst case of all equal order) was less than a minute while achieving 99.5% accuracy. The scalability of the Spiral visualization was above 4000 MCSs for a comparison task. The Dynamic Slider reduces the interaction movements up to 85.71% of the previous sliders and solves the overlapping thumb issues by the sliders provides the 3D model view of the system being analyzed provides the ability to change the coloring of MCSs according to the color vision of the user provides selecting a BE (i.e., multi-selection of MCSs), thus, can observe the BEs' NoO and provides its quality provides two interaction speeds for panning and zooming in the MCS, BE, and model views provide a MCS, a BE, and a physical tab for supporting the analysis starting by the MCSs, the BEs, or the physical parts. It combines MCS analysis results and the model of an embedded system enabling the analysts to directly relate safety information with the corresponding parts of the system being analyzed and provides an interactive mapping between the textual information of the BEs and MCSs and the parts related to the BEs.
Verifications and Assessments: I have evaluated all visualizations and the interaction widget both objectively and subjectively, and finally evaluated the final Spiral visualization tool also both objectively and subjectively regarding its perceived quality and regarding its degree of supporting MCS analysis II.
A wide range of methods and techniques have been developed over the years to manage the increasing
complexity of automotive Electrical/Electronic systems. Standardization is an example
of such complexity managing techniques that aims to minimize the costs, avoid compatibility
problems and improve the efficiency of development processes.
A well-known and -practiced standard in automotive industry is AUTOSAR (Automotive
Open System Architecture). AUTOSAR is a common standard among OEMs (Original Equipment
Manufacturer), suppliers and other involved companies. It was developed originally with
the goal of simplifying the overall development and integration process of Electrical/Electronic
artifacts from different functional domains, such as hardware, software, and vehicle communication.
However, the AUTOSAR standard, in its current status, is not able to manage the problems
in some areas of the system development. Validation and optimization process of system configuration
handled in this thesis are examples of such areas, in which the AUTOSAR standard
offers so far no mature solutions.
Generally, systems developed on the basis of AUTOSAR must be configured in a way that all
defined requirements are met. In most cases, the number of configuration parameters and their
possible settings in AUTOSAR systems are large, especially if the developed system is complex
with modules from various knowledge domains. The verification process here can consume a
lot of resources to test all possible combinations of configuration settings, and ideally find the
optimal configuration variant, since the number of test cases can be very high. This problem is
referred to in literature as the combinatorial explosion problem.
Combinatorial testing is an active and promising area of functional testing that offers ideas
to solve the combinatorial explosion problem. Thereby, the focus is to cover the interaction
errors by selecting a sample of system input parameters or configuration settings for test case
generation. However, the industrial acceptance of combinatorial testing is still weak because of
the deficiency of real industrial examples.
This thesis is tempted to fill this gap between the industry and the academy in the area
of combinatorial testing to emphasizes the effectiveness of combinatorial testing in verifying
complex configurable systems.
The particular intention of the thesis is to provide a new applicable approach to combinatorial
testing to fight the combinatorial explosion problem emerged during the verification and
performance measurement of transport protocol parallel routing of an AUTOSAR gateway. The
proposed approach has been validated and evaluated by means of two real industrial examples
of AUTOSAR gateways with multiple communication buses and two different degrees of complexity
to illustrate its applicability.
In this thesis we developed a desynchronization design flow in the goal of easing the de- velopment effort of distributed embedded systems. The starting point of this design flow is a network of synchronous components. By transforming this synchronous network into a dataflow process network (DPN), we ensures important properties that are difficult or theoretically impossible to analyze directly on DPNs are preserved by construction. In particular, both deadlock-freeness and buffer boundedness can be preserved after desyn- chronization. For the correctness of desynchronization, we developed a criteria consisting of two properties: a global property that demands the correctness of the synchronous network, as well as a local property that requires the latency-insensitivity of each local synchronous component. As the global property is also a correctness requirement of synchronous systems in general, we take this property as an assumption of our desyn- chronization. However, the local property is in general not satisfied by all synchronous components, and therefore needs to be verified before desynchronization. In this thesis we developed a novel technique for the verification of the local property that can be carried out very efficiently. Finally we developed a model transformation method that translates a set of synchronous guarded actions – an intermediate format for synchronous systems – to an asynchronous actor description language (CAL). Our theorem ensures that one passed the correctness verification, the generated DPN of asynchronous pro- cesses (or actors) preserves the functional behavior of the original synchronous network. Moreover, by the correctness of the synchronous network, our theorem guarantees that the derived DPN is deadlock-free and can be implemented with only finitely bounded buffers.
Automata theory has given rise to a variety of automata models that consist
of a finite-state control and an infinite-state storage mechanism. The aim
of this work is to provide insights into how the structure of the storage
mechanism influences the expressiveness and the analyzability of the
resulting model. To this end, it presents generalizations of results about
individual storage mechanisms to larger classes. These generalizations
characterize those storage mechanisms for which the given result remains
true and for which it fails.
In order to speak of classes of storage mechanisms, we need an overarching
framework that accommodates each of the concrete storage mechanisms we wish
to address. Such a framework is provided by the model of valence automata,
in which the storage mechanism is represented by a monoid. Since the monoid
serves as a parameter to specifying the storage mechanism, our aim
translates into the question: For which monoids does the given
(automata-theoretic) result hold?
As a first result, we present an algebraic characterization of those monoids
over which valence automata accept only regular languages. In addition, it
turns out that for each monoid, this is the case if and only if valence
grammars, an analogous grammar model, can generate only context-free
Furthermore, we are concerned with closure properties: We study which
monoids result in a Boolean closed language class. For every language class
that is closed under rational transductions (in particular, those induced by
valence automata), we show: If the class is Boolean closed and contains any
non-regular language, then it already includes the whole arithmetical
This work also introduces the class of graph monoids, which are defined by
finite graphs. By choosing appropriate graphs, one can realize a number of
prominent storage mechanisms, but also combinations and variants thereof.
Examples are pushdowns, counters, and Turing tapes. We can therefore relate
the structure of the graphs to computational properties of the resulting
In the case of graph monoids, we study (i) the decidability of the emptiness
problem, (ii) which storage mechanisms guarantee semilinear Parikh images,
(iii) when silent transitions (i.e. those that read no input) can be
avoided, and (iv) which storage mechanisms permit the computation of
Today, many publishers (e.g., websites, mobile application developers) commonly use third-party analytics services and social widgets. Unfortunately, this scheme allows these third parties to track individual users across the web, creating privacy concerns and leading to reactions to prevent tracking via blocking, legislation and standards. While improving user privacy, these efforts do not consider the functionality third-party tracking enables publishers to use: to obtain aggregate statistics about their users and increase their exposure to other users via online social networks. Simply preventing third-party tracking without replacing the functionality it provides cannot be a viable solution; leaving publishers without essential services will hurt the sustainability of the entire ecosystem.
Asynchronous programs are challenging to implement correctly: the loose coupling between asynchronously executed tasks makes the control and data dependencies difficult to follow. Even subtle design and programming mistakes on the programs have the capability to introduce erroneous or divergent behaviors. As asynchronous programs are typically written to provide a reliable, high-performance infrastructure, there is a critical need for analysis techniques to guarantee their correctness.
In this dissertation, I provide scalable verification and testing tools to make asyn- chronous programs more reliable. I show that the combination of counter abstraction and partial order reduction is an effective approach for the verification of asynchronous systems by presenting PROVKEEPER and KUAI, two scalable verifiers for two types of asynchronous systems. I also provide a theoretical result that proves a counter-abstraction based algorithm called expand-enlarge-check, is an asymptotically optimal algorithm for the coverability problem of branching vector addition systems as which many asynchronous programs can be modeled. In addition, I present BBS and LLSPLAT, two testing tools for asynchronous programs that efficiently uncover many subtle memory violation bugs.
The task of printed Optical Character Recognition (OCR), though considered ``solved'' by many, still poses several challenges. The complex grapheme structure of many scripts, such as Devanagari and Urdu Nastaleeq, greatly lowers the performance of state-of-the-art OCR systems.
Moreover, the digitization of historical and multilingual documents still require much probing. Lack of benchmark datasets further complicates the development of reliable OCR systems. This thesis aims to find the answers to some of these challenges using contemporary machine learning technologies. Specifically, the Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) networks, have been employed to OCR modern as well historical monolingual documents. The excellent OCR results obtained on these have led us to extend their application for multilingual documents.
The first major contribution of this thesis is to demonstrate the usability of LSTM networks for monolingual documents. The LSTM networks yield very good OCR results on various modern and historical scripts, without using sophisticated features and post-processing techniques. The set of modern scripts include modern English, Urdu Nastaleeq and Devanagari. To address the challenge of OCR of historical documents, this thesis focuses on Old German Fraktur script, medieval Latin script of the 15th century, and Polytonic Greek script. LSTM-based systems outperform the contemporary OCR systems on all of these scripts. To cater for the lack of ground-truth data, this thesis proposes a new methodology, combining segmentation-based and segmentation-free OCR approaches, to OCR scripts for which no transcribed training data is available.
Another major contribution of this thesis is the development of a novel multilingual OCR system. A unified framework for dealing with different types of multilingual documents has been proposed. The core motivation behind this generalized framework is the human reading ability to process multilingual documents, where no script identification takes place.
In this design, the LSTM networks recognize multiple scripts simultaneously without the need to identify different scripts. The first step in building this framework is the realization of a language-independent OCR system which recognizes multilingual text in a single step. This language-independent approach is then extended to script-independent OCR that can recognize multiscript documents using a single OCR model. The proposed generalized approach yields low error rate (1.2%) on a test corpus of English-Greek bilingual documents.
In summary, this thesis aims to extend the research in document recognition, from modern Latin scripts to Old Latin, to Greek and to other ``under-privilaged'' scripts such as Devanagari and Urdu Nastaleeq.
It also attempts to add a different perspective in dealing with multilingual documents.
Computer Vision (CV) problems, such as image classification and segmentation, have traditionally been solved by manual construction of feature hierarchies or incorporation of other prior knowledge. However, noisy images, varying viewpoints and lighting conditions of images, and clutters in real-world images make the problem challenging. Such tasks cannot be efficiently solved without learning from data. Therefore, many Deep Learning (DL) approaches have recently been successful for various CV tasks, for instance, image classification, object recognition and detection, action recognition, video classification, and scene labeling. The main focus of this thesis is to investigate a purely learning-based approach, particularly, Multi-Dimensional LSTM (MD-LSTM) recurrent neural networks to tackle the challenging CV tasks, classification and segmentation on 2D and 3D image data. Due to the structural nature of MD-LSTM, the network learns directly from raw pixel values and takes the complex spatial dependencies of each pixel into account. This thesis provides several key contributions in the field of CV and DL.
Several MD-LSTM network architectural options are suggested based on the type of input and output, as well as the requiring tasks. Including the main layers, which are an input layer, a hidden layer, and an output layer, several additional layers can be added such as a collapse layer and a fully connected layer. First, a single Two Dimensional LSTM (2D-LSTM) is directly applied on texture images for segmentation and show improvement over other texture segmentation methods. Besides, a 2D-LSTM layer with a collapse layer is applied for image classification on texture and scene images and have provided an accurate classification results. In addition, a deeper model with a fully connected layer is introduced to deal with more complex images for scene labeling and outperforms the other state-of-the-art methods including the deep Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN). Here, several input and output representation techniques are introduced to achieve the robust classification. Randomly sampled windows as input are transformed in scaling and rotation, which are integrated to get the final classification. To achieve multi-class image classification on scene images, several pruning techniques are introduced. This framework provides a good results in automatic web-image tagging. The next contribution is an investigation of 3D data with MD-LSTM. The traditional cuboid order of computations in Multi-Dimensional LSTM (MD-LSTM) is re-arranged in pyramidal fashion. The resulting Pyramidal Multi-Dimensional LSTM (PyraMiD-LSTM) is easy to parallelize, especially for 3D data such as stacks of brain slice images. PyraMiD-LSTM was tested on 3D biomedical volumetric images and achieved best known pixel-wise brain image segmentation results and competitive results on Electron Microscopy (EM) data for membrane segmentation.
To validate the framework, several challenging databases for classification and segmentation are proposed to overcome the limitations of current databases. First, scene images are randomly collected from the web and used for scene understanding, i.e., the web-scene image dataset for multi-class image classification. To achieve multi-class image classification, the training and testing images are generated in a different setting. For training, images belong to a single pre-defined category which are trained as a regular single-class image classification. However, for testing, images containing multi-classes are randomly collected by web-image search engine by querying the categories. All scene images include noise, background clutter, unrelated contents, and also diverse in quality and resolution. This setting can make the database possible to evaluate for real-world applications. Secondly, an automated blob-mosaics texture dataset generator is introduced for segmentation. Random 2D Gaussian blobs are generated and filled with random material textures. These textures contain diverse changes in illumination, scale, rotation, and viewpoint. The generated images are very challenging since they are even visually hard to separate the related regions.
Overall, the contributions in this thesis are major advancements in the direction of solving image analysis problems with Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) without the need of any extra processing or manually designed steps. We aim at improving the presented framework to achieve the ultimate goal of accurate fine-grained image analysis and human-like understanding of images by machines.
Most of today’s wireless communication devices operate on unlicensed bands with uncoordinated spectrum access, with the consequence that RF interference and collisions are impairing the overall performance of wireless networks. In the classical design of network protocols, both packets in a collision are considered lost, such that channel access mechanisms attempt to avoid collisions proactively. However, with the current proliferation of wireless applications, e.g., WLANs, car-to-car networks, or the Internet of Things, this conservative approach is increasingly limiting the achievable network performance in practice. Instead of shunning interference, this thesis questions the notion of „harmful“ interference and argues that interference can, when generated in a controlled manner, be used to increase the performance and security of wireless systems. Using results from information theory and communications engineering, we identify the causes for reception or loss of packets and apply these insights to design system architectures that benefit from interference. Because the effect of signal propagation and channel fading, receiver design and implementation, and higher layer interactions on reception performance is complex and hard to reproduce by simulations, we design and implement an experimental platform for controlled interference generation to strengthen our theoretical findings with experimental results. Following this philosophy, we introduce and evaluate a system architecture that leverage interference.
First, we identify the conditions for successful reception of concurrent transmissions in wireless networks. We focus on the inherent ability of angular modulation receivers to reject interference when the power difference of the colliding signals is sufficiently large, the so-called capture effect. Because signal power fades over distance, the capture effect enables two or more sender–receiver pairs to transmit concurrently if they are positioned appropriately, in turn boosting network performance. Second, we show how to increase the security of wireless networks with a centralized network access control system (called WiFire) that selectively interferes with packets that violate a local security policy, thus effectively protecting legitimate devices from receiving such packets. WiFire’s working principle is as follows: a small number of specialized infrastructure devices, the guardians, are distributed alongside a network and continuously monitor all packet transmissions in the proximity, demodulating them iteratively. This enables the guardians to access the packet’s content before the packet fully arrives at the receiver. Using this knowledge the guardians classify the packet according to a programmable security policy. If a packet is deemed malicious, e.g., because its header fields indicate an unknown client, one or more guardians emit a limited burst of interference targeting the end of the packet, with the objective to introduce bit errors into it. Established communication standards use frame check sequences to ensure that packets are received correctly; WiFire leverages this built-in behavior to prevent a receiver from processing a harmful packet at all. This paradigm of „over-the-air“ protection without requiring any prior modification of client devices enables novel security services such as the protection of devices that cannot defend themselves because their performance limitations prohibit the use of complex cryptographic protocols, or of devices that cannot be altered after deployment.
This thesis makes several contributions. We introduce the first software-defined radio based experimental platform that is able to generate selective interference with the timing precision needed to evaluate the novel architectures developed in this thesis. It implements a real-time receiver for IEEE 802.15.4, giving it the ability to react to packets in a channel-aware way. Extending this system design and implementation, we introduce a security architecture that enables a remote protection of wireless clients, the wireless firewall. We augment our system with a rule checker (similar in design to Netfilter) to enable rule-based selective interference. We analyze the security properties of this architecture using physical layer modeling and validate our analysis with experiments in diverse environmental settings. Finally, we perform an analysis of concurrent transmissions. We introduce a new model that captures the physical properties correctly and show its validity with experiments, improving the state of the art in the design and analysis of cross-layer protocols for wireless networks.