results for au:Hermanns_H in:cs

- Markov decision processes (MDPs) are a popular model for performance analysis and optimization of stochastic systems. The parameters of stochastic behavior of MDPs are estimates from empirical observations of a system; their values are not known precisely. Different types of MDPs with uncertain, imprecise or bounded transition rates or probabilities and rewards exist in the literature. Commonly, analysis of models with uncertainties amounts to searching for the most robust policy which means that the goal is to generate a policy with the greatest lower bound on performance (or, symmetrically, the lowest upper bound on costs). However, hedging against an unlikely worst case may lead to losses in other situations. In general, one is interested in policies that behave well in all situations which results in a multi-objective view on decision making. In this paper, we consider policies for the expected discounted reward measure of MDPs with uncertain parameters. In particular, the approach is defined for bounded-parameter MDPs (BMDPs) [8]. In this setting the worst, best and average case performances of a policy are analyzed simultaneously, which yields a multi-scenario multi-objective optimization problem. The paper presents and evaluates approaches to compute the pure Pareto optimal policies in the value vector space.
- Jun 22 2017 cs.SY arXiv:1706.06875v2Interval Markov decision processes (IMDPs) generalise classical MDPs by having interval-valued transition probabilities. They provide a powerful modelling tool for probabilistic systems with an additional variation or uncertainty that prevents the knowledge of the exact transition probabilities. In this paper, we consider the problem of multi-objective robust strategy synthesis for interval MDPs, where the aim is to find a robust strategy that guarantees the satisfaction of multiple properties at the same time in face of the transition probability uncertainty. We first show that this problem is PSPACE-hard. Then, we provide a value iteration-based decision algorithm to approximate the Pareto set of achievable points. We finally demonstrate the practical effectiveness of our proposed approaches by applying them on several case studies using a prototypical tool.
- This volume contains the proceedings of MARS 2017, the second workshop on Models for Formal Analysis of Real Systems, held on April 29, 2017 in Uppala, Sweden, as an affiliated workshop of ETAPS 2017, the European Joint Conferences on Theory and Practice of Software. The workshop emphasises modelling over verification. It aims at discussing the lessons learned from making formal methods for the verification and analysis of realistic systems. Examples are: (1) Which formalism is chosen, and why? (2) Which abstractions have to be made and why? (3) How are important characteristics of the system modelled? (4) Were there any complications while modelling the system? (5) Which measures were taken to guarantee the accuracy of the model? We invited papers that present full models of real systems, which may lay the basis for future comparison and analysis. An aim of the workshop is to present different modelling approaches and discuss pros and cons for each of them. Alternative formal descriptions of the systems presented at this workshop are encouraged, which should foster the development of improved specification formalisms.
- Feb 16 2017 cs.LO arXiv:1702.04693v1Usually, it is the software manufacturer who employs verification or testing to ensure that the software embedded in a device meets its main objectives. However, these days we are confronted with the situation that economical or technological reasons might make a manufacturer become interested in the software slightly deviating from its main objective for dubious reasons. Examples include lock-in strategies and the $\mathrm{NO}_x$ emission scandals in automotive industry. This phenomenon is what we call software doping. It is turning more widespread as software is embedded in ever more devices of daily use. The primary contribution of this article is to provide a hierarchy of simple but solid formal definitions that enable to distinguish whether a program is clean or doped. Moreover, we show that these characterisations provide an immediate framework for analysis by using already existing verification techniques. We exemplify this by applying self-composition on sequential programs and model checking of HyperLTL formulas on reactive models.
- Model checking probabilistic CTL properties of Markov decision processes with convex uncertainties has been recently investigated by Puggelli et al. Such model checking algorithms typically suffer from the state space explosion. In this paper, we address probabilistic bisimulation to reduce the size of such an MDP while preserving the probabilistic CTL properties it satisfies. In particular, we discuss the key ingredients to build up the operations of parallel composition for composing interval MDP components at run-time. More precisely, we investigate how the parallel composition operator for interval MDPs can be defined so as to arrive at a congruence closure. As a result, we show that probabilistic bisimulation for interval MDPs is congruence with respect to two facets of parallelism, namely synchronous product and interleaving.
- We introduce a formalism modelling communication of distributed agents strictly in continuous-time. Within this framework, we study the problem of synthesising local strategies for individual agents such that a specified set of goal states is reached, or reached with at least a given probability. The flow of time is modelled explicitly based on continuous-time randomness, with two natural implications: First, the non-determinism stemming from interleaving disappears. Second, when we restrict to a subclass of non-urgent models, the quantitative value problem for two players can be solved in EXPTIME. Indeed, the explicit continuous time enables players to communicate their states by delaying synchronisation (which is unrestricted for non-urgent models). In general, the problems are undecidable already for two players in the quantitative case and three players in the qualitative case. The qualitative undecidability is shown by a reduction to decentralized POMDPs for which we provide the strongest (and rather surprising) undecidability result so far.
- Nov 16 2015 cs.SY arXiv:1511.04171v1This paper discusses the problem of designing a self-balancing unicycle where pedals are used for both power generation and speed control. After developing the principal physical aspects (in the longitudinal dimension), we describe an abstract model in the form of a collection of hybrid automata, together with design requirements to be met by an ideal controller. We discuss simplifications and assumptions that make this model amenable to verification and validation tools such as SpaceEx. To enable experimentation with different prototypical controllers and user behaviours in concrete scenarios, we also develop a simple simulation framework using digital time.
- Jul 13 2015 cs.SY arXiv:1507.02876v2In the context of Markov decision processes running in continuous time, one of the most intriguing challenges is the efficient approximation of finite horizon reachability objectives. A multitude of sophisticated model checking algorithms have been proposed for this. However, no proper benchmarking has been performed thus far. This paper presents a novel and yet simple solution: an algorithm originally developed for a restricted subclass of models and a subclass of schedulers can be twisted so as to become competitive with the more sophisticated algorithms in full generality. As the second main contribution, we perform a comparative evaluation of the core algorithmic concepts on an extensive set of benchmarks varying over all key parameters: model size, amount of non-determinism, time horizon, and precision.
- Apr 14 2015 cs.LO arXiv:1504.02861v2The applicability of model checking is hindered by the state space explosion problem in combination with limited amounts of main memory. To extend its reach, the large available capacities of secondary storage such as hard disks can be exploited. Due to the specific performance characteristics of secondary storage technologies, specialised algorithms are required. In this paper, we present a technique to use secondary storage for probabilistic model checking of Markov decision processes. It combines state space exploration based on partitioning with a block-iterative variant of value iteration over the same partitions for the analysis of probabilistic reachability and expected-reward properties. A sparse matrix-like representation is used to store partitions on secondary storage in a compact format. All file accesses are sequential, and compression can be used without affecting runtime. The technique has been implemented within the Modest Toolset. We evaluate its performance on several benchmark models of up to 3.5 billion states. In the analysis of time-bounded properties on real-time models, our method neutralises the state space explosion induced by the time bound in its entirety.
- Feb 26 2015 cs.SY arXiv:1502.07120v1The kinetic battery model is a popular model of the dynamic behavior of a conventional battery, useful to predict or optimize the time until battery depletion. The model however lacks certain obvious aspects of batteries in-the-wild, especially with respect to (i) the effects of random influences and (ii) the behavior when charging up to capacity bounds. This paper considers the kinetic battery model with bounded capacity in the context of piecewise constant yet random charging and discharging. The resulting model enables the time-dependent evaluation of the risk of battery depletion. This is exemplified in a power dependability study of a nano satellite mission.
- Probabilistic automata constitute a versatile and elegant model for concurrent probabilistic systems. They are equipped with a compositional theory supporting abstraction, enabled by weak probabilistic bisimulation serving as the reference notion for summarising the effect of abstraction. This paper considers probabilistic automata augmented with costs. It extends the notions of weak transitions in probabilistic automata in such a way that the costs incurred along a weak transition are captured. This gives rise to cost-preserving and cost-bounding variations of weak probabilistic bisimilarity, for which we establish compositionality properties with respect to parallel composition. Furthermore, polynomial-time decision algorithms are proposed, that can be effectively used to compute reward-bounding abstractions of Markov decision processes in a compositional manner.
- Markov automata (MAs) extend labelled transition systems with random delays and probabilistic branching. Action-labelled transitions are instantaneous and yield a distribution over states, whereas timed transitions impose a random delay governed by an exponential distribution. MAs are thus a nondeterministic variation of continuous-time Markov chains. MAs are compositional and are used to provide a semantics for engineering frameworks such as (dynamic) fault trees, (generalised) stochastic Petri nets, and the Architecture Analysis & Design Language (AADL). This paper considers the quantitative analysis of MAs. We consider three objectives: expected time, long-run average, and timed (interval) reachability. Expected time objectives focus on determining the minimal (or maximal) expected time to reach a set of states. Long-run objectives determine the fraction of time to be in a set of states when considering an infinite time horizon. Timed reachability objectives are about computing the probability to reach a set of states within a given time interval. This paper presents the foundations and details of the algorithms and their correctness proofs. We report on several case studies conducted using a prototypical tool implementation of the algorithms, driven by the MAPA modelling language for efficiently generating MAs.
- Jun 10 2014 cs.LO arXiv:1406.2068v1Markov automata combine continuous time, probabilistic transitions, and nondeterminism in a single model. They represent an important and powerful way to model a wide range of complex real-life systems. However, such models tend to be large and difficult to handle, making abstraction and abstraction refinement necessary. In this paper we present an abstraction and abstraction refinement technique for Markov automata, based on the game-based and menu-based abstraction of probabilistic automata. First experiments show that a significant reduction in size is possible using abstraction.
- Apr 22 2014 cs.LO arXiv:1404.5084v2In contrast to the usual understanding of probabilistic systems as stochastic processes, recently these systems have also been regarded as transformers of probabilities. In this paper, we give a natural definition of strong bisimulation for probabilistic systems corresponding to this view that treats probability distributions as first-class citizens. Our definition applies in the same way to discrete systems as well as to systems with uncountable state and action spaces. Several examples demonstrate that our definition refines the understanding of behavioural equivalences of probabilistic systems. In particular, it solves a long-standing open problem concerning the representation of memoryless continuous time by memory-full continuous time. Finally, we give algorithms for computing this bisimulation not only for finite but also for classes of uncountably infinite systems.
- Interactive Markov chains (IMC) are compositional behavioural models extending labelled transition systems and continuous-time Markov chains. We provide a framework and algorithms for compositional verification and optimization of IMC with respect to time-bounded properties. Firstly, we give a specification formalism for IMC. Secondly, given a time-bounded property, an IMC component and the assumption that its unknown environment satisfies a given specification, we synthesize a scheduler for the component optimizing the probability that the property is satisfied in any such environment.
- Markov automata (MA) constitute an expressive continuous-time compositional modelling formalism. They appear as semantic backbones for engineering frameworks including dynamic fault trees, Generalised Stochastic Petri Nets, and AADL. Their expressive power has thus far precluded them from effective analysis by probabilistic (and statistical) model checkers, stochastic game solvers, or analysis tools for Petri net-like formalisms. This paper presents the foundations and underlying algorithms for efficient MA modelling, reduction using static analysis, and most importantly, quantitative analysis. We also discuss implementation pragmatics of supporting tools and present several case studies demonstrating feasibility and usability of MA in practice.
- We are interested in the analysis of very large continuous-time Markov chains (CTMCs) with many distinct rates. Such models arise naturally in the context of reliability analysis, e.g., of computer network performability analysis, of power grids, of computer virus vulnerability, and in the study of crowd dynamics. We use abstraction techniques together with novel algorithms for the computation of bounds on the expected final and accumulated rewards in continuous-time Markov decision processes (CTMDPs). These ingredients are combined in a partly symbolic and partly explicit (symblicit) analysis approach. In particular, we circumvent the use of multi-terminal decision diagrams, because the latter do not work well if facing a large number of different rates. We demonstrate the practical applicability and efficiency of the approach on two case studies.
- May 03 2012 cs.FL arXiv:1205.0376v2Deciding in an efficient way weak probabilistic bisimulation in the context of Probabilistic Automata is an open problem for about a decade. In this work we close this problem by proposing a procedure that checks in polynomial time the existence of a weak combined transition satisfying the step condition of the bisimulation. We also present several extensions of weak combined transitions, such as hyper-transitions and the new concepts of allowed weak combined and hyper-transitions and of equivalence matching, that turn out to be verifiable in polynomial time as well. These results set the ground for the development of more effective compositional analysis algorithms for probabilistic systems.
- Feb 21 2012 cs.FL arXiv:1202.4116v2Weak bisimilarity is a distribution-based equivalence notion for Markov automata. It has gained some popularity as the coarsest reasonable behavioural equivalence on Markov automata. This paper studies a strictly coarser notion: Late weak bisimilarity enjoys valuable properties if restricting to important subclasses of schedulers: Trace distribution equivalence is implied for partial information schedulers, and compositionality is preserved by distributed schedulers. The intersection of the two scheduler classes thus spans a coarser and still reasonable compositional theory of Markov automata.
- Apr 27 2011 cs.LO arXiv:1104.4983v3For continuous-time Markov chains, the model-checking problem with respect to continuous-time stochastic logic (CSL) has been introduced and shown to be decidable by Aziz, Sanwal, Singhal and Brayton in 1996. Their proof can be turned into an approximation algorithm with worse than exponential complexity. In 2000, Baier, Haverkort, Hermanns and Katoen presented an efficient polynomial-time approximation algorithm for the sublogic in which only binary until is allowed. In this paper, we propose such an efficient polynomial-time approximation algorithm for full CSL. The key to our method is the notion of stratified CTMCs with respect to the CSL property to be checked. On a stratified CTMC, the probability to satisfy a CSL path formula can be approximated by a transient analysis in polynomial time (using uniformization). We present a measure-preserving, linear-time and -space transformation of any CTMC into an equivalent, stratified one. This makes the present work the centerpiece of a broadly applicable full CSL model checker. Recently, the decision algorithm by Aziz et al. was shown to work only for stratified CTMCs. As an additional contribution, our measure-preserving transformation can be used to ensure the decidability for general CTMCs.
- Aug 28 2008 cs.LO arXiv:0808.3651v3Strong and weak simulation relations have been proposed for Markov chains, while strong simulation and strong probabilistic simulation relations have been proposed for probabilistic automata. However, decision algorithms for strong and weak simulation over Markov chains, and for strong simulation over probabilistic automata are not efficient, which makes it as yet unclear whether they can be used as effectively as their non-probabilistic counterparts. This paper presents drastically improved algorithms to decide whether some (discrete- or continuous-time) Markov chain strongly or weakly simulates another, or whether a probabilistic automaton strongly simulates another. The key innovation is the use of parametric maximum flow techniques to amortize computations. We also present a novel algorithm for deciding strong probabilistic simulation preorders on probabilistic automata, which has polynomial complexity via a reduction to an LP problem. When extending the algorithms for probabilistic automata to their continuous-time counterpart, we retain the same complexity for both strong and strong probabilistic simulations.