Real-time simulation support for runtime verification of cyber-physical systems

Xi Zheng, Christine Julien, Hongxu Chen, Rodion Podorozhny, Franck Cassez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


In Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS), cyber and physical components must work seamlessly in tandem. Runtime verification of CPS is essential yet very difficult, due to deployment environments that are expensive, dangerous, or simply impossible to use for verification tasks. A key enabling factor of runtime verification of CPS is the ability to integrate real-time simulations of portions of the CPS into live running systems. We propose a verification approach that allows CPS application developers to opportunistically leverage real-time simulation to support runtime verification. Our approach, termed BRACEBIND, allows selecting, at runtime, between actual physical processes or simulations of them to support a running CPS application. To build BRACEBIND, we create a real-time simulation architecture to generate and manage multiple realtime simulation environments based on existing simulation models in a manner that ensures sufficient accuracy for verifying a CPS application. Specifically, BRACEBIND aims to both improve simulation speed and minimize latency, thereby making it feasible to integrate simulations of physical processes into the running CPS application. BRACEBIND then integrates this real-time simulation architecture with an existing runtime verification approach that has low computational overhead and high accuracy. This integration uses an aspect-oriented adapter architecture that connects the variables in the cyber portion of the CPS application with either sensors and actuators in the physical world or the automatically generated real-time simulation. Our experimental results show that, with a negligible performance penalty, our approach is both efficient and effective in detecting program errors that are otherwise only detectable in a physical deployment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalACM Transactions on Embedded Computing Systems
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017


  • Runtime verification


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