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Formal verification of fault tolerance in safety-critical reconfigurable modules

  • Jerker HammarbergEmail author
  • Simin Nadjm-Tehrani
Special section on formal methods for industrial critical systems

Abstract

Demands for higher flexibility in aerospace applications has led to increasing deployment of reconfiguarble modules. In several cases the industry is looking into Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA) as a means of efficient adaption of existing components. This paper addresses the safety analysis issues for reconfigurable modules with an emphasis on FPGAs. FPGAs act as digital hardware but in the context of safety analysis they should be treated as software, i.e. with added demands on formal analysis. The contributions of this paper are twofold. First, we illustrate a development process using a language with formal semantics (Esterel) for design, formal verification of high-level design, and automatic code generation down to synthesizable VHDL. We argue that this process reduces the likelihood of systematic (permanent) faults in the design, and still produces VHDL code that may be of acceptable quality (size of FPGA, delay). Secondly, in a general approach that is equally applicable to other formal design languages, we illustrate how the effect of transient fault modes and faults in external modules can be formally studied. We modularly extended the component design model with fault models that represent specific or random faults (e.g. radiation leading to bit flips in the component under design), and transient or permanent faults in the rest of the environment. Some faults corrupt inputs to the component and others jeopardise the effect of output signals that control the environment. This process supports a formal version of Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA). The set-up is then used to formally determine which (single or multiple) fault modes cause violation of the top-level safety-related property, much in the spirit of fault-tree analyses (FTA). All of this is done with out building the fault tree and using a common model for design and for safety analyses. An aerospace hydraulic monitoring system is used to illustrate the analysis of fault tolerance .

Keywords

Safety analysis Formal verification Fault tolerance FPGA Esterel 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer and Information ScienceLinköping UniversityLinköpingSweden
  2. 2.DST Control ABLinköpingSweden

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