Relation to research lines/theme in research institute(s)

  • CTIT: SRO DSN – dependable systems and networks
  • SRO Istrice – Integrated Security and Privacy in a Networked World
  • CeDICT: 3TU.Center for Dependable ICT

Typical Research Projects

These projects have been recently proposed or are in preparation:

Dependability assessment of adaptable software systems (SE)

Embedded systems need to adapt themselves to perform optimally under varying operational conditions. Self-adaptation capabilities increase the complexity and unpredictability. Therefore, novel methods and techniques are required to assess the dependability of such systems.

Quantitative evaluation and optimization of software architecture for dependability (FMT & SE)

Software architecture is one of the earliest artefacts of the software development life cycle and it has a significant impact on system dependability. Dependability attributes require dedicated quality models (e.g. fault trees, Markov models) for quantitative evaluation. These attributes are also strongly related to performance and cost, leading to trade-off decisions for applying fault tolerance means like replication. Such decisions can be supported by optimization techniques (e.g. dynamic programming, multi-objective optimization). The techniques will be applied in a transparent manner to architectural descriptions expressed in e.g. UML, AADL, or xADL (with annotations).

SCADA: Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (DIES + DACS)

SCADA systems are widely used for process control purposes, e.g., for power generation and distribution, but also in water cleaning and production. Until recently, SCADA systems were closed systems, not connected to other systems. These days, they tend to become based on open technologies and connected to other networks, so that they become vulnerable to security and survivability threats.  However, the impact of attacks critical infrastructure systems is potentially very large.
In this joint project, DACS and DIES will study the vulnerability of SCADA networks and the interplay between security and system dependability and survivability. We will develop an intrusion detection system for SCADA systems, and provide insights in the trade-off between the costs of security protection versus the gain of high-quality drinking water production.

Architectural Dependability analysis for automotive systems (DACS+FMT)

The automotive industry has developed various architectural description languages, for instance AADL and East-ADL, to express the architectural layout of automotive systems. To analyze the dependability aspects of these systems, we plan to develop methods to automatically generate Markov models from these descriptions, in a way that is completely transparent to the designer. Key property of our generation methods will be their compositionality (I.e. a Markov model of the entire system is obtained from Markov models of their components), which keeps the state space of the underlying models manageable.

PHR: Personal Health Records (DIES)

A personal health record or PHR is a health record that is initiated and maintained by an individual. An ideal PHR would provide a complete and accurate summary of the health and medical history of an individual by gathering data from many sources and making this information accessible online to anyone who has the necessary electronic credentials to view the information. Since PHRs are sensitive personal data, illegitimate disclosure may have a devastating impact on a person's life. At the same time, if the PHR is unavailable during a medical emergency, the person's life is equally at risk. Therefore, each person needs a simple and effective mechanism to enforce the privacy of the PHR while at the same time ensuring the availability.