Automatic Analysis of Hybrid Systems

Pei-Hsin Ho

Hybrid systems are real-time systems that react to both discrete and continuous activities (such as analog signals, time, temperature, and speed). Typical examples of hybrid systems are embedded systems, timing-based communication protocols, and digital circuits at the transistor level. Due to the rapid development of microprocessor technology, hybrid systems directly control much of what we depend on in our daily lives. Consequently, the formal specification and verification of hybrid systems has become an active area of research. This dissertation presents the first general framework for the formal specification and verification of hybrid systems, as well as the first hybrid-system analysis tool--HyTech. The framework consists of a graphical finite-state-machine-like language for modeling hybrid systems, a temporal logic for modeling the requirements of hybrid systems, and a computer procedure that verifies modeled hybrid systems against modeled requirements. The tool HyTech is the implementation of the framework using C++ and Mathematica.

More specifically, our hybrid-system modeling language, Hybrid Automata, is an extension of timed automata with discrete and continuous variables whose dynamics are governed by differential equations. Our requirement modeling language, ICTL, is a branching-time temporal logic, and is an extension of TCTL with stop-watch variables. Our verification procedure is a symbolic model-checking procedure that verifies linear hybrid automata against ICTL formulas. To make HyTech more efficient and effective, we use model-checking strategies and abstract operators that can expedite the verification process. To enable HyTech to verify nonlinear hybrid automata, we introduce two translations from nonlinear hybrid automata to linear hybrid automata. We have applied HyTech to analyze more than 30 hybrid-system benchmarks. In this dissertation, we present the application of HyTech to three nontrivial hybrid systems taken from the literature.

Ph.D. thesis, Technical Report CSD-TR95-1536, Cornell University, August 1995, 188 pages.

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