PhD Defense: Development and Validation of Distributed Reactive Control Systems

Cedric Meuter
Friday, 14 March, 2008 (All day)

A reactive control system is a computer system reacting to certain stimuli emitted by its environment in order to maintain it in a desired state. Distributed reactive control systems are generally composed of several processes, running in parallel on one or more computers, com- municating with one another to perform the required control task. By their very nature, distributed reactive control systems are hard to design. Their distributed nature and/or the communication scheme used can introduce subtle unforeseen behaviours. When dealing with critical applications, such as plane control systems, or traffic light control systems, those unintended behaviours can have disastrous consequences. It is therefore essential, for the designer, to ensure that this does not happen. For that purpose, rigorous and systematic techniques can (and should) be applied as early as possible in the development process. In that spirit, this work aims at providing the designer with the necessary tools in order to facilitate the development and validation of such distributed reactive control systems. In partic- ular, we show how using a dedicated language called dSL (Distributed Supervision language) can be used to ease the development process. We also study how validations techniques such as model-checking and testing can be applied in this context.