Current Projects

Research Projects at the Institute

USA-funded Projects

CyberHeart

CyberHeart

Funding: USA-NSF

Partners: Carnegie Mellon University, University of Maryland, Stony Brook University, Georgia Tech, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Pennsylvania, Fraunhofer Center for Experimental Software Engineering, Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Time Frame: 01. 01. 2015 - 31. 12. 2020

Contact Persons: Radu Grosu, Alena Rodionova, Gerda Belkhofer-Fohrafellner (admin)

Research Team: Ezio Bartocci, Radu Grosu, Anna Lukina, Alena Rodionova, Scott A. Smolka

The NSF-CPS-Frontiers project CyberHeart is part of the NSF’s initiative to advance the state-of-the-art in Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS): engineered systems that are built from, and depend upon, the seamless integration of computation and physical components. The main goal of the project is to develop far more realistic cardiac device models and controllers than the ones that currently exist. The challenge is in the sheer scale of the human’s cardiac CPS: Six billion cells arranged in a very sophisticated network interact with each other in order to synchronise and contract such that they collectively achieve what is commonly called a heart beat, pumping the blood through the entire body. The CyberHeart platform will provide a basis to test and validate medical devices faster and at a far lower cost than existing methods. It will also provide a platform for designing optimal, patient-specific device therapies, thereby lowering the risk to the patient. CyberHeart includes collaborators from nine leading universities and centres: CMU, RIT, UM, GTech, UPenn, FC-ESE, SBU, TUW and FDA.

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ARRIVE - Adaptive Runtime Verification and Recovery for Mission-Critical Software

ARRIVE - Adaptive Runtime Verification and Recovery for Mission-Critical Software

Funding: USA-AFOSR

Collaborators: Stony Brook University: Scott A. Smolka, Scott Stoller, Erez Zadok, Dung Phan NASA JPL: Klaus Havelund

Partners: Stony Brook University, NASA JPL

Time Frame: 01. 08. 2014 - 31. 07. 2017

Contact Persons: Radu Grosu, Denise Ratasich, Gerda Belkhofer-Fohrafellner (admin)

Research Team: Radu Grosu, Denise Ratasich

The goal of the ARRiVE project is to develop online verification techniques for the monitoring, analysis and guidance of the run-time program execution. Inspired by the Simplex architecture, the aim is to provide a novel extension of runtime verification for cyber-physical systems (CPS) in which runtime verification is itself adaptive. In particular, we plan to investigate overhead control, monitoring in presence of incomplete information, predictive analysis, and a comprehensive Simplex architecture for CPS. We will evaluate the framework performance and utility through significant case studies, including the runtime monitoring of the command-and-control and energy-measurement infrastructure of a fleet of UAVs and a fleet of rovers. The results of our research are going to contribute to the development of complex, adaptive software which have improved reliability and improved robustness.

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EU-funded Projects

ICT COST Action IC1405 on Reversible Computation - Extending Horizons of Computing

ICT COST Action IC1405 on Reversible Computation - Extending Horizons of Computing

Funding: EU-Horizon 2020, EU-COST

Partners: TU Wien, Universiteit Gent, University of Cyprus, University of Southern Denmark, Datalogisk Institut – Københavns Universitet, University of Turku, CNRS, INRIA, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, University of Bremen, National Technical University of Athens, Reykjavik University, Trinity College Dublin, University of Bologna, IMT Institute for Advanced Studies Lucca, Eindhoven University of Technology, University of Oslo, University of Lodz, Warsaw University of Technology, Universidade do Minho, Romanian Academy, Ovidius University of Constanta, University of Nis, University of Novi Sad, University of Maribor, "Jožef Stefan" Institute, European Centre for Soft Computing, Halmstad University, Imperial College, University of Copenhagen, University of Turku, Universität Giessen, Waterford Institute of Technology, University of Camerino, University Politehnica Timisoara, Universitat Politecnica de Valencia, Middlesex University, Université Djillali Liabes

Time Frame: 30. 04. 2015 - 29. 04. 2019

Contact Persons: Ezio Bartocci, Radu Grosu, Gerda Belkhofer-Fohrafellner (admin)

Research Team: Ezio Bartocci, Radu Grosu

Reversible computation is an emerging paradigm that extends the standard forwards-only mode of computation with the ability to execute in reverse, so that computation can run backwards as naturally as it can go forwards. It aims to deliver novel computing devices and software, and to enhance traditional systems by equipping them with reversibility. The potential benefits include the design of revolutionary reversible logic gates and circuits - leading to low-power computing and innovative hardware for green ICT, and new conceptual frameworks, language abstractions and software tools for reliable and recovery oriented distributed systems. Landauer's Principle, a theoretical explanation why a significant proportion of electrical power consumed by current forwards-only computers is lost in the form of heat, and why making computation reversible is necessary and beneficial, has only been shown empirically in 2012. Hence now is the right time to launch a COST Action on reversible computation. The Action will establish the first European (and the world first) network of excellence to coordinate research on reversible computation. Many fundamental challenges cannot be solved currently by partitioned and uncoordinated research, so a collaborative effort of European expertise with an industrial participation, as proposed by this Action, is the most logical and efficient way to proceed.

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ICT COST Action IC1402 on Runtime Verification beyond Monitoring (ARVI)

ICT COST Action IC1402 on Runtime Verification beyond Monitoring (ARVI)

Funding: EU-Horizon 2020, EU-COST

Partners: Lübeck University (coordinator), TU Wien, Austrian Institute of Technology, Brno University of Technology, Charles University in Prague, Aalborg University, Institute of Cybernetics at TUT, Université Joseph Fourier, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Universität des Saarlandes, FireEye, National Technical University of Athens, TEI of Ionian Islands, University of Iceland, Reykjavík University, Athlone Institute of Technology, Trinity College Dublin, The Academic College Tel-Aviv, Bar Ilan University, Univeristy of Milano Bicocca, Univeristy of Turin, Kaunas university of Technology, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, University of Malta, University of Groningen, University of Twente, Bergen University College, University of Oslo, Univeristy of Lisbon, NOVA University of Lisbon - FCT, University of Novi Sad, IMDEA Software Institute Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, University of Gothenburg, Universita della Svizzera Italiana, University of Manchester, University of Tartu, Fraunhofer SIT, LION Smart GmbH, University of Bologna, University of Coimbra, Chalmers University of Technology

Time Frame: 17. 12. 2014 - 18. 12. 2018

Contact Persons: Ezio Bartocci, Radu Grosu, Gerda Belkhofer-Fohrafellner (admin)

Research Team: Ezio Bartocci, Radu Grosu

Project description: Runtime verification (RV) is a computing analysis paradigm based on observing a system at runtime to check its expected behavior. RV has emerged in recent years as a practical application of formal verification, and a less ad-hoc approach to conventional testing by building monitors from formal specifications. There is a great potential applicability of RV beyond software reliability, if one allows monitors to interact back with the observed system, and generalizes to new domains beyond computers programs (like hardware, devices, cloud computing and even human centric systems). Given the European leadership in computer based industries, novel applications of RV to these areas can have an enormous impact in terms of the new class of designs enabled and their reliability and cost effectiveness. This Action aims to build expertise by putting together active researchers in different aspects of runtime verification, and meeting with experts from potential application disciplines. The main goal is to overcome the fragmentation of RV research by (1) the design of common input formats for tool cooperation and comparison; (2) the evaluation of different tools, building a growing sets benchmarks and running tool competitions; and (3) by designing a road-map and grand challenges extracted from application domains.

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EMC² - Embedded Multi-Core systems for Mixed Criticality applications in dynamic and changeable real-time environments

EMC² - Embedded Multi-Core systems for Mixed Criticality applications in dynamic and changeable real-time environments

Funding: EU-ARTEMIS-JU, AT-FFG

Partners: The EMC² project consortium is made up of leading European RTOs and university institutes, a substantial number of specialized SMEs in various fields, major semiconductor manufacturer, specialized hardware and software providers and system providers from various application fields. For a list of the 99 partners see the project's website.

Time Frame: 01. 04. 2014 - 31. 03. 2017

Contact Persons: Radu Grosu, Haris Isakovic, Gerda Belkhofer-Fohrafellner (admin)

Research Team: Radu Grosu, Haris Isakovic, Denise Ratasich

Embedded systems are the key innovation driver to improve almost all mechatronic products with cheaper and even new functionalities. They support today’s information society as inter-system communication enabler. A major industrial challenge arises from the need to face cost efficient integration of different applications with different levels of safety and security on a single computing platform in an open context. EMC² finds solutions for dynamic adaptability in open systems, provides handling of mixed criticality applications under real-time conditions, scalability and utmost flexibility, full scale deployment and management of integrated tool chains, through the entire lifecycle. The objective of EMC² is to establish Multi-Core technology in all relevant Embedded Systems domains. In particular, it should support the emerging Cyber-Physical-Systems technology.

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AT-funded Projects

CPS/IoT Ecosystem: Preparing Austria for the Next Digital Revolution

CPS/IoT Ecosystem: Preparing Austria for the Next Digital Revolution

Funding: AT-BMWFW: HRSM Grant

Partners: TU Wien, Austrian Institut of Technology (AIT), Institute of Science and Technology (IST)

Time Frame: started 01. 06. 2017

Contact Persons: Radu Grosu, Gerda Belkhofer-Fohrafellner (admin)

Research Team: Schahram Dustdar, Radu Grosu, Manfred Gruber (AIT), Thomas A. Henzinger (IST), Gerti Kappel, Dejan Nickovic (AIT)

Cyber-physical systems (CPS) are spatially-distributed, time-sensitive, multiscale networked embedded systems, connecting the physical world to the cyber world through sensors and actuators. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the backbone of CPS. It connects the Sensors and Actuators to the nearby Gateways and the Gateways to the Fog and the Cloud. The Fog resembles the human spine, providing fast and adequate response to imminent situations. The Cloud resembles the human brain, providing large storage and analytic capabilities.

In this project we will make Austria a major player in Real-Time (RT) CPS/IoT, by building on its national strengths. In collaboration with renowned Austrian companies such as TTTech or ams AG, we will create an RT CPS/IoT-Ecosystem with more than 5000 sensors and actuators, where we can all experiment with new ideas, and develop this way an Austrian know-how. This effort will be aligned with the strategic Austrian initiatives, Industry 4.0 and Silicon-Austria. The ecosystem will be distributed across Vienna in collaboration with our partners at AIT and IST.

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SemI40 - Power Semiconductor and Electronics Manufacturing 4.0: Machine Learning over Big Data at Infineon

SemI40 - Power Semiconductor and Electronics Manufacturing 4.0: Machine Learning over Big Data at Infineon

Funding: AT-Infineon

Time Frame: 01. 05. 2016 - 30. 04. 2019

Contact Persons: Hamidreza Mahyar, Elahe Ghalebi Kazabi, Radu Grosu, Gerda Belkhofer-Fohrafellner (admin)

Research Team: Hamidreza Mahyar, Elahe Ghalebi Kazabi, Anja Zernig, Olivia Bluder, Andre Kästner, Radu Grosu

SemI40 will focus on “smart production” and “cyber-physical production systems” and is one of the largest Industry 4.0 projects in Europe. Industry 4.0 also known as Cyber-Physical Production Systems are systems where sensors and actuators are combined with communication and computation in order to achieve the optimal control of physical production processes. Infineon, one of the world leaders in mixed-signal chip production, has recently embarked in a very innovative and daring project: The complete automation of one of its Villach’s production sites. This automation involves the sensing, processing, and storing of huge amounts of measurement-data related to the processes involved in their chip production. While the semiconductor fabs are currently measured and statistically analyzed after each process, there is no correlation among these measurements so far. Since such a correlation is arguably impossible to derive from first principles in physics and chemistry, we propose in this project to use machine-learning and big-data techniques to automatically learn such correlations. These correlations will be thereafter used to predict anomalies, to diagnose the processes and machines responsible for a failed fab, and to eventually control these processes for optimal fabrication.

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Gracefully Degrading Agreement in Directed Dynamic Networks

Funding: Austrian Science Fund (FWF)

Time Frame: 01. 01. 2016 - 31. 12. 2018

Contact Persons: Ulrich Schmid

Research Team: Ulrich Schmid, Manfred Schwarz, Kyrill Winkler, Martin Zeiner

This project is devoted to the development of the theoretical foundations, models, algorithms and analysis techniques for relaxed distributed agreement in directed dynamic networks. Such networks are characterized by (i) sets of participants (processes) that are a priori unknown and potentially time-varying, (ii) rapidly changing uni-directional connectivity between processes, and (iii) the absence of central control. Instantiated, e.g., by (wireless) sensor networks and ad-hoc networks, such dynamic networks are becoming ubiquitous in many applications nowadays. A natural approach to build robust services despite the dynamic nature of such networks would be to use distributed consensus to agree system-wide on (fundamental) parameters like schedules, operating frequencies, operating modes etc. Unfortunately, however, in larger-scale dynamic networks, this is usually impossible, since solving consensus requires a well-connected and temporarily stable network topology. In order to overcome this fundamental limitation, we propose to consider gracefully degrading variants of consensus, in particular, approximate agreement, where decision values may slightly deviate from each other, and k-set agreement, which may deliver up to k different decisions in case of bad network conditions that e.g. lead to k isolated network partitions. In our project, we will develop network assumptions that both allow to solve, say, k-set agreement, and have some reasonable assumption coverage in real systems. Therefore, our focus will be on weakest (necessary and sufficient) conditions and the analysis of the resulting assumption coverage. Other central part of our project is the development of solution algorithms and their correctness proofs. Particular emphasis will be put on performance of our algorithms, since there is a tradeoff between weak network conditions and the communication and memory complexity of solutions algorithms. Overall, the project shall yield new insights into the fundamental limitations of dynamic networks as well as the development of novel algorithms that solve distributed agreement problems reliably even under very weak communication guarantees.

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New Formal Verification Methods and Concepts for Analog and Mixed Signal Smart Power Systems

Funding: AT-FFG-Basisprogramm within project EM²APS

Partners: AT-KAI, AT-Infineon, AT-AIT

Time Frame: 01. 07. 2015 - 30. 06. 2018

Contact Persons: Radu Grosu, Ramin Mohammad Hasani, Gerda Belkhofer-Fohrafellner (admin)

Research Team: Josef Fugger (KAI), Radu Grosu, Dieter Haerle, Ramin Mohammad Hasani, Dejan Nickovic (AIT), Luca Petruzzi, Mikko Vaeaenaenen (Infineon)

Short product life cycles, increasing complexity and high integrated circuits force the semiconductor industry to continuously improve the development and verification process. The verification process ensures whether a design meets the specification requirements and is accomplished in parallel to the development process. The tight timeline associated with current projects does not allow system design and verification to wait for a real prototype. Therefore most of the system verification tasks have to be done with virtual prototyping using simulation tools. The goal of this activity is to develop and investigate new methods and concepts for verification of Mixed-Signal Smart Power ICs for various automotive applications, like lighting, heating, power distribution, motor driving etc. Short time to market requirements, increasing complexity, miniaturization of modern ICs and latest safety standards result in stringent requirements and considerable effort for the pre-silicon verification process.

CPPS-DC: Doctoral College on Cyber-Physical Production Systems

CPPS-DC: Doctoral College on Cyber-Physical Production Systems

Funding: AT-TU Wien

Time Frame: 01. 03. 2015 - 31. 03. 2018

Contact Persons: Radu Grosu, Guodong Wang, Gerda Belkhofer-Fohrafellner (admin)

Research Team: Ezio Bartocci, Stefan Biffl, Friedrich Bleicher, Schahram Dustdar, Detlef Gerhard, Radu Grosu, Gerti Kappel, Wolfgang Kastner, Burkhard Kittl, Marta Sabou, Stefan Schulte, Wilfried Sihn, Guodong Wang, Manuel Wimmer, Horst Zimmermann, Tanja Zseby

The support of complex industrial processes by according ICT technologies is a foundation of what is often called the next industrial revolution or "Industrie 4.0" and is therefore estimated to be a crucial research question in this field. Not surprisingly, this need has also been recognized by national and European policy makers. The topic is prominently regarded in funding schemes like the "Factories of the Future" programme of the European Union, the US Advanced Manufacturing iniative as well as major national programmes like "Produktion der Zukunft" (FFG). Also, the subject of "Industrie 4.0" has recently been established at TU Wien as an important interdisciplinary research initiative "TUWin4.0" and is the major development direction of the TU Wien Learning and Innovation Factory (LIF).

The Doctoral College "Cyber-Physical Production Systems" aims at further positioning TU Wien with TUWin4.0 as the leading research institute in Austria in this domain and to help to position the university as one of the highest ranked European research institutes in this highly relevant area. For this, the CPPS consortium brings together experts from the fields of mechanical and industrial engineering, management sciences, computer science, informatics, electrical engineering, and information technology. The goal of this interdisciplinary Doctoral College – grounded within TUWin4.0 – is to establish research collaborations among the next generation of researchers and to utilize synergies based on the different methods, approaches, and knowledge from these fields.

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National Research Network RiSE/SHiNE (PP05)

Funding: Austrian Science Fund (FWF)

Partners: Graz University of Technology (coordinator), Vienna University of Technology, Institute of Science and Technology Austria, Johannes Kepler University Linz, University of Salzburg.

Time Frame: 01. 03. 2015 - 01. 03. 2019

Contact Persons: Ulrich Schmid

Research Team: Ulrich Schmid, Ezio Bartocci, Matthias Függer, Martin Zeiner, Kyrill Winkler, Manfred Schwarz

RiSE/SHiNE pursues the long term vision of a hardware/software system design process supported by automatic formal methods based on model checking, decision procedures, and game theory. Simultaneously, the National Research Network has the strategic goal to establish and strengthen Austria as an international hot spot in this research area. In the first three years of the 4-year funding period (Period I), we have made important steps towards both the scientific and the strategic goal. A key lesson from Period I was that non-functional aspects of system quality and correctness are critical, hard to achieve manually, and highly amenable to rigorous reasoning. We view the second period of RiSE 2015–2019 as an opportunity to position Computer Aided Verification closer to other fields of computer science which address non-functional aspects in a rigorous manner. In Period II, nine Project Part Leaders and six (mostly) junior Task Leaders will build upon the foundations established in the first years. The new Tasks that we propose either derive from a cross cutting “collaboration topic” of Period I or are new topics introduced by the recently hired faculty. All Tasks will be jointly investigated by two PIs. While the Research Clusters of Period I reflected the individual expertise of the PIs, we will now organize our Tasks along intersecting Research Lines. Each Research Line of Period II will address a non-functional aspect such as concurrency, probabilistic behavior, reliability, and quantitative measures (timing and resource consumption). This focus reflects a broader understanding of correctness beyond the Boolean notion of functional correctness that was central in Period I. Thus, our thrust will go beyond verification of functional specifications to computer aided design of programs that fulfill both functional and non-functional properties. We have therefore subtitled the second funding Period Systematic Methods in Systems Engineering, or SHiNE. SHiNE project part PP05: Reconciling Distributed and Real-Time Computing (Schmid, Bartocci). Modern distributed systems, ranging from systems-on-chip (SoC) to electronic commerce networks, must be resilient to failures and maintain specified response time bounds. The Tasks of PP05 is devoted to a continuous-time modeling & analysis framework for such systems:

    • Task US1: Modeling and Analysis of Distributed Systems with Non-Zero-Time Computations (Applications). The abstraction of discrete, instantaneous state transitions inherently “defines away” queueing and scheduling issues and thus does not adequately match real systems. The situation is even worse in case of algorithms implemented in hardware, as abstracting continuous computations by discrete state transitions “defines away” metastability of discrete-valued signals/states and the impossibility to build an arbiter. The problem is further exacerbated by incorporating fault-tolerance, in particular, self-stabilization, which requires solutions that recover from system states without any synchrony. In a collaboration with PP07 (Chatterjee), which has already been established in RiSE, PP02 (Henzinger) and PP08 (Biere), we will develop the foundations and solution methods for a suitable real-time analysis framework.
    • Task EBUS2: Modeling and Analysis of Parametric, Probabilistic and Parameterized Timed Systems (Ezio Bartocci) (Applications). To master the overwhelming complexity of manual correctness proofs of continuous-time distributed systems, computer-aided methods that can deal with symbolic timing parameters (“parametric”) and symbolic system sizes (“parameterized”) are required. Besides the question of how to deal with the overwhelming complexity, answering the question of how to incorporate (probabilistic) faults will be addressed in collaboration with PP12 (Grosu), PP07 (Chatterjee) and PP11 (Kirsch). In order to extend our framework to also cover message-passing distributed systems with parameterized system size, novel abstraction techniques and/or cutoff results will be developed in a collaboration with PP03 (Veith).

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National Research Network RiSE/SHiNE (PP 12)

National Research Network RiSE/SHiNE (PP 12)

Funding: AT-FWF

Partners: Graz University of Technology (coordinator), Vienna University of Technology, Institute of Science and Technology Austria, Johannes Kepler University Linz, University of Salzburg.

Time Frame: 01. 03. 2015 - 01. 03. 2019

Contact Persons: Ezio Bartocci, Radu Grosu, Gerda Belkhofer-Fohrafellner (admin)

Research Team: Ezio Bartocci, Armin Biere, Roderick Bloem, Krishnendu Chatterjee, Uwe Egly, Radu Grosu, Thomas A. Henzinger, Christoph Kirsch, Laura Kovács, Anna Lukina, Ulrich Schmid, Martina Seidl, Ana Sokolova, Helmut Veith, Georg Weissenbacher, Florian Zuleger

RiSE pursues the long term vision of a hardware/software system design process supported by automatic formal methods based on model checking, decision procedures, and game theory. Simultaneously, the National Research Network has the strategic goal to establish and strengthen Austria as an international hot spot in this research area. In the first three years of the 4-year funding period (Period I), we have made important steps towards both the scientific and the strategic goal. A key lesson from Period I was that non-functional aspects of system quality and correctness are critical, hard to achieve manually, and highly amenable to rigorous reasoning. We view the second period of RiSE 2015–2019 as an opportunity to position Computer Aided Verification closer to other fields of computer science which address non-functional aspects in a rigorous manner. In Period II, nine Project Part Leaders and six (mostly) junior Task Leaders will build upon the foundations established in the first years. The new Tasks that we propose either derive from a cross cutting “collaboration topic” of Period I or are new topics introduced by the recently hired faculty. All Tasks will be jointly investigated by two PIs. While the Research Clusters of Period I reflected the individual expertise of the PIs, we will now organize our Tasks along intersecting Research Lines. Each Research Line of Period II will address a non-functional aspect such as concurrency, probabilistic behavior, reliability, and quantitative measures (timing and resource consumption). This focus reflects a broader understanding of correctness beyond the Boolean notion of functional correctness that was central in Period I. Thus, our thrust will go beyond verification of functional specifications to computer aided design of programs that fulfill both functional and non-functional properties. We have therefore subtitled the second funding Period Systematic Methods in Systems Engineering, or SHiNE.

SHiNE project part PP12: Probabilistic Analysis of Distributed Systems. Modern distributed systems such as cyber-physical systems (CPS) embed sensing, computation, actuation, and communication within various physical substrata, resulting into heterogeneous, open, systems of systems. CPS examples include smart factories, smart transportation, and smart health-care. Openness (entities can join/leave the system), unpredictability (the environment is partially known), and distribution (interactions may propagate in space-time) are serious obstacles in the accurate prediction of the (emergent) behavior of CPS. In general, the exponential explosion of the CPS state space renders exhaustive state-space-exploration techniques, such as classical model checking, intractable. Approximate prediction techniques, such as statistical model checking (SMC) have therefore gained popularity in the past several years. A serious {\em obstacle} in the application of approximate techniques is their poor performance in predicting properties which represent rare~events. In such cases, the number of samples required to attain a high confidence ratio and a low error margin explodes. Two sequential Monte-Carlo techniques, importance splitting (ISpl) and importance sampling (ISam), originally developed in the statistical-physics community, hold the promise to overcome this obstacle. The main idea of the proposed work is therefore to combine Importance Sampling and Importance Splitting within a coherent and unified, control-theoretic framework}, yielding a novel and general class of SMC algorithms.

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HARMONIA - Hardware Monitoring for Automotive

HARMONIA - Hardware Monitoring for Automotive

Funding: AT-FFG

Partners: AT-Infineon, AT-AIT, AT-TU Wien

Time Frame: 01. 09. 2014 - 30. 08. 2017

Contact Persons: Konstantin Selyunin, Gerda Belkhofer-Fohrafellner (admin)

Research Team: Ezio Bartocci, Radu Grosu, Konstantin Selyunin

HARMONIA will provide a framework for assertion-based monitoring of automotive systems-of-systems with mixed criticality. It will enable a uniform way to reason about both safety-critical correctness and non-critical robustness properties of such systems. Observers embedded on FPGA hardware will be generated from assertions, and used for monitoring automotive designs emulated on hardware. The project outcome will improve the competitiveness of the automotive application oriented nano and microelectronics industry by reducing verification time and cost in the design process.

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Accelerator-based Experimental Analysis and Simulation Modeling of Single-Event Transients in VLSI Circuits (EASET)

Funding: FWF stand-alone project

Collaborators: Institute of Electrodynamics, Microwave and Circuit Engineering
TU Wien (prof. Zimmermann)

Time Frame: 01. 04. 2014 - 31. 03. 2017

Due to the steadily decreasing feature sizes of modern VLSI circuits, which are in the nanometer range (< 100 nm) nowadays, single-event effects (SEEs) are increasingly dominating the fault rate of VLSI circuits. SEEs occur when junctions of transistors are hit by ionized particles. Such particles primarily originate in high-energy cosmic radiation, affecting a chip either directly (at high altitudes, i.e., in space and aerospace) or indirectly, via interaction with the atmosphere. The primary concern in modern VLSI circuits are transient SEEs: An ionized particle deposits charge along its track, which in turn can cause a single-event transient (SET) signal pulse (0.1-1 ns range). If a sufficiently strong SET propagates to a storage element, it can be latched, thereby producing a single-event upset (SEU).

Robust circuit design, in particular, for critical applications, hence needs models that accurately describe SETs/SEUs and are easy and efficient to use at early design stages. Such models both allow (a) to assess the radiation tolerance of different architectural designs and hardening techniques and (b) to estimate the final error rate of a circuit. The preferred method to accomplish this is simulation-based fault injection at the (analog) electrical level: Typically, a Spice model of the circuit (derived automatically from the design using technology libraries) is augmented with Spice models that simulate SET generation in critical parts of the circuit. The most commonly approach here is single-ended injection of a double-exponential current into the drain of a transistor.

Obviously, the suitability of this method for validating the effectiveness of radiation-hardening measures and predicting soft-error rates stands or falls with the availability of accurate Spice models for SET generation: If it fails to cover important scenarios, one might e.g. overlook situations where radiation-hardening fails. Unfortunately, there is evidence that standard double-exponential Spice models are susceptible to such problems, with respect to several aspects: (1) Inadequate model structure, (2) calibration of model parameters, and (3) SEEs affecting multiple transistors.

Any attempt to developing Spice models that accurately model SET generation (including the above complications) in nanometer VLSI circuits requires a combination of both (a) a detailed understanding of the physical/electrical processes involved and (b) a comprehensive experimental evaluation of SET pulses arising in real circuits. The project EASET is devoted to this purpose: It will use results from accurate analog SET measurements in carefully designed measurement ASICs under micro-beam irradiation to (i) guide the development and (ii) calibrate detailed 3D physical/hybrid TCAD simulation models. The latter is a very powerful means for researching the SET generation process and its parameters in VLSI circuits, and thus also the appropriate basis for developing and validating novel SET generation Spice models for complex nanometer VLSI circuits, which are the primary intended outcome of the project.

The measurement ASICs will include on the one hand the circuits under test, e.g. circuits based on basic combinational and sequential logic and possibly some other topologies like ring oscillators. On the other hand the ASICs will include high speed analog measurement amplifiers which must have minimum influence on the investigated circuit nodes, and they have to include high speed analog 50Ω-output drivers. Additional analog high speed multiplexers are necessary due to the large number of investigated circuit nodes. Consequently, EASET not only addresses interesting fundamental research questions, but also provides results that are relevant in practice. The required competence is ensured by running it as a joint project between the Institut für Technische Informatik and the Institute of Electrodynamics, Microwave and Circuit Engineering at TU Wien, which also includes external collaborations with radiation physics experts e.g. at the GSI in Darmstadt and the PTB in Braunschweig.

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EMC² - Embedded Multi-Core systems for Mixed Criticality applications in dynamic and changeable real-time environments

EMC² - Embedded Multi-Core systems for Mixed Criticality applications in dynamic and changeable real-time environments

Funding: EU-ARTEMIS-JU, AT-FFG

Partners: The EMC² project consortium is made up of leading European RTOs and university institutes, a substantial number of specialized SMEs in various fields, major semiconductor manufacturer, specialized hardware and software providers and system providers from various application fields. For a list of the 99 partners see the project's website.

Time Frame: 01. 04. 2014 - 31. 03. 2017

Contact Persons: Radu Grosu, Haris Isakovic, Gerda Belkhofer-Fohrafellner (admin)

Research Team: Radu Grosu, Haris Isakovic, Denise Ratasich

Embedded systems are the key innovation driver to improve almost all mechatronic products with cheaper and even new functionalities. They support today’s information society as inter-system communication enabler. A major industrial challenge arises from the need to face cost efficient integration of different applications with different levels of safety and security on a single computing platform in an open context. EMC² finds solutions for dynamic adaptability in open systems, provides handling of mixed criticality applications under real-time conditions, scalability and utmost flexibility, full scale deployment and management of integrated tool chains, through the entire lifecycle. The objective of EMC² is to establish Multi-Core technology in all relevant Embedded Systems domains. In particular, it should support the emerging Cyber-Physical-Systems technology.

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LogiCS - Logical Methods in Computer Science

LogiCS - Logical Methods in Computer Science

Funding: AT-FWF

Partners: Vienna University of Technology, Graz University of Technology, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austrian-wide National Research Network on Rigorous Systems Engineering (RiSE), Vienna Center for Logic and Algorithms (VCLA)

Time Frame: 01. 01. 2014 - 31. 12. 2018

Contact Persons: Alena Rodionova, Radu Grosu, Gerda Belkhofer-Fohrafellner (admin)

Research Team: Alena Rodionova, Ezio Bartocci, Radu Grosu, Stefan Szeider

Logical Methods in Computer Science (LogiCS) research project lies in the intersection of two broad areas: Databases and Artificial Intelligence, where logic is used to model, store, analyze and predict information about the outside world including the Internet. And the second one is Verification, where logic is used to model, analyze and construct computer programs themselves. The logical and algorithmic questions which underlie both application areas are studied in the area of Computational Logic. In the LogiCS curriculum, all three directions are prominently represented. Moreover our commitment to international and interdisciplinary collaboration is prerequisite for today’s challenges: Computer science has reached a state where many of the basic engineering questions are reasonably well understood. Many of the big open research questions, however, require computers to perform non-trivial reasoning tasks that permeate computer science, other sciences such as economy, physics, medicine and biology, as well as every-day life. Nowadays, there are a lot of important and interesting research questions in the rapidly expanding domains of cyber-physical (CPS) and biological systems (BS). For instance: ‘How does one formally specify emergent behavior of a system?’ or ‘How does one efficiently predict and detect its onset?’ It is obvious that the formal specification of emergent behavior is a great challenge: first, the logic has to be able to capture temporal properties, which manifest themselves both in the time and in the (dual) frequency domains. Second, the logic has to be able to capture spatial properties, which manifest themselves both in the space and in the (dual) spatial-frequency domains. So right now we are trying to extend temporal logic with frequency domain properties based on different forms of transforms: Fourier, Gabor, Wavelet and to develop a formalism to describe various significant patterns based on combinations of ideas from spatial/temporal logics and signal processing.

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Wearable Eye Tracking

Wearable Eye Tracking

Funding: AT-viewpointsystem GmbH

Time Frame: 01. 07. 2013 - 28. 02. 2017

Contact Persons: Julian Grahsl, Radu Grosu, Gerda Belkhofer-Fohrafellner (admin)

Research Team: Julian Grahsl, Radu Grosu, Dipl.-Ing. Armin Wasicek

The subject of this project is to enhance an existing eye tracking system into a wearable device fitted into a spectacle frame. The purpose of this system is to compute the direction of an individual’s gaze by monitoring the eyes with miniature camera modules. By tracking the position of the pupil over time, the viewing direction can be recorded and visualized. This information is of great value in several contexts. Road safety investigations take advantage of accurate eye trackers for analyzing the cause of accidents by examining how drivers react in stress situations. The viewing direction also provides a first-hand indication of an individual’s behavioral patterns when perceiving commercial advertisements. Eye trackers further promise new ways of seamless human-machine interaction for people with disabilities. Finally, a completely mobile solution encourages the adoption of new applications. Currently available solutions for tracking eye movements are stationary or not suitable for mobile operation due to their sub prime ergonometry or overwhelming size. Building upon an existing set of eye tracking algorithms, a hardware and software architecture is proposed to work towards a lightweight but powerful eye tracking solution which is novel in its size and ergonometry. Resolving the constraint on physical size while providing a sophisticated computational platform for image processing is the key challenge of this work.

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