Dissertation Defense

Requirements Testing and Verification for Smart Systems through Systematic Software Analysis


Smartphones, wearable devices and emerging autonomous vehicles (AVs) are significantly transforming our way of communication, networking, knowledge acquisition, healthcare and transportation. As our daily lives are increasingly relying on these smart end systems, certain guarantees on the performance, security and safety becomes critical requirements to the design and implementation of the software for these systems. To ensure such key requirements are met before shipping the software into users' devices/vehicles, it is necessary to exhaustively test and verify the software at the development and testing stage. However, testing and verifying the performance, security and safety requirements for the software of these systems remains a research challenge due to their high mobility and software complexity.
To address this challenge, this dissertation focuses on developing systematic and automated software analysis tools for testing and verifying the performance, security and safety requirements of the software for smart end systems. Specifically, we demonstrate that automated program analyses based on 1) static program analysis for achieving completeness guarantees of analyzing program behaviors and 2) runtime program profiling for capturing runtime conditions of program execution, can achieve systematic requirements testing and verification for smart end systems and significantly reduce manual efforts. This dissertation contributes to the requirements testing and verification of smart end systems in following aspects: (1) effectively test performance requirements and diagnose the cause of performance slowdown through lightweight monitoring of and systematic performance characterization based on cross-layer runtime events, (2) systematically detect noncompliance with important security principles (e.g., publish-subscribe overprivilege vulnerability) through systematic program analysis and mitigate security vulnerabilities through policy enforcement, and (3) systematically verify the compliance with safety requirements on the mission-critical components (e.g., AV's driving decision control) of smart end systems.

Sponsored by


Faculty Host

Z. Morley Mao