VeriSure: Verification and Assurance

14 July 2013, St. Petersburg

Rubrics: Seminar | IT

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The purpose of this workshop is to explore issues at the conjunction of computer-aided verification and system assurance. An autonomous car, for example, must safely negotiate an environment that is imperfectly and incompletely modeled, while using actuators that are themselves imperfect, and guided by fallible sensors whose data requires delicate interpretation and fusion. Assurance here clearly requires more than verification, but can build on verified foundations.

In general, computer-aided verification is usually performed in support of a larger activity whose goal is to provide assurance for a decision with large consequences. The decision may be to send a hardware design for fabrication or to release a commercial software product, in which cases the consequences are economic, or it may be to deploy a system in a context with potential consequences for societal safety or security. In all these cases, verification will be just one of many strands of evidence that contribute to system assurance, and the overall structure of the assurance may be specified or constrained by regulation or certification requirements.

This workshop will explore challenges and opportunities posed for computer-aided verification by the larger context of system assurance. One immediate set of challenges arises from the (recursive) need to provide assurance for the claims delivered by computer-aided verification itself. Related is the challenge of providing assurance for the assumptions and requirements with respect to which the verification is performed. These challenges are situated in pragmatic engineering settings where choices must be made about what should be verified, and to what level of detail, and what should or must be assured by other means (such as testing, human review, or runtime monitoring), and how all these should be combined.

Opportunities arise from the possibility of formalizing and verifying aspects of the larger assurance activity, stimulated by recent proposals that this should be structured as an assurance "case." An assurance case is composed of claims, argument, and evidence, where the argument justifies claims (e.g., for security or safety) based on evidence about the system and its development. An interesting complication is that many top-level claims are probabilistic (e.g.,
10-9 for certain aircraft software) while traditional formal verification is unconditional.

We solicit papers on relevant topics, which include but are not restricted to the following. We encourage exploratory work that will stimulate discussion.

- Quantitative and qualitative assurance claims and arguments o Integration of formal verification with assurance
   and with assurance cases
- Modular and incremental methods of verification and assurance o Toolchains for integrated assurance arguments o Soundness guarantees for tools, toolchains, and workflows o Certification and regulatory requirements and standards - Experience reports and challenges

The program will include invited speakers, presentation of selected papers, and discussion.

The workshop is colocated with CAV 2013 in Saint Petersburg, Russia

Invited Speakers:

- Robin Bloomfield, City University and Adelard
- Others to be announced

Deadline date: April 21, 2013


Sam Owre, Natarajan Shankar, and John Rushby  (SRI International)

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John Rushby

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