Reasoning about Network Topologies in Space
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“Traditional” satellite systems consist of special-purpose monolithic satellites. Future ones aim to comprise of a small number of inexpensive generalpurpose spacecraft that communicate with one another to carry out missions, with a certification requirement. Such certification would guarantee the security and correctness of all mission software.
In this work we focus on proving correctness of a proposed protocol for aggregation of the data of member nodes in such a system. The modeling and verification of such a system is complicated by a number of factors, including real-time constraints and the unusual topology of the network, which does not fit wellstudied cases such as clique, star and ring topologies.
We show how to use decomposition and abstraction to isolate the topologydependent reasoning in the the proof into a simple lemma. This allows us to use finite-state model checking techniques to perform this reasoning, and to quickly assess classes of network topologies. The assumptions we made in abstracting the model (the premises of our lemma) can in principle be verified locally, without concern for the network topology.
This case study can be seen as an instance of a general proof strategy: separate the complicating aspects of the proof of a complex system so that each can be handled by an appropriate tool.
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