Incremental Syntactic-Semantic Reliability Analysis of Evolving Structured Workflows

  • Domenico Bianculli
  • Antonio Filieri
  • Carlo Ghezzi
  • Dino Mandrioli
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8802)


Modern enterprise information systems are built following the paradigm of service-orientation. This paradigm promotes workflow-based software composition, where complex business processes are realized by orchestrating different, heterogenous components. These workflow descriptions evolve continuously, to adapt to changes in the business goals or in the enterprise policies. Software verification of evolving systems is challenging mainstream methodologies and tools. Formal verification techniques often conflict with the time constraints imposed by change management practices for evolving systems. Since changes in these systems are often local to restricted parts, an incremental verification approach could be beneficial.

In this paper we focus on the probabilistic verification of reliability requirements of structured workflows. We propose a novel incremental technique based on a syntactic-semantic approach. Reliability analysis is driven by the syntactic structure (defined by an operator-precedence grammar) of the workflow and encoded as semantic attributes associated with the grammar. Incrementality is achieved by coupling the evaluation of semantic attributes with an incremental parsing technique. The approach has been implemented in a prototype tool; preliminary experimental evaluation confirms the theoretical speedup over a nonincremental approach.


Precedence Relation Semantic Attribute Symbolic Execution Incremental Approach Discrete Time Markov Chain 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    van der Aalst, W.M.P., Ter Hofstede, A.H.M., Kiepuszewski, B., Barros, A.P.: Workflow patterns. Distrib. Parallel Databases 14(1), 5–51 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Avizienis, A., Laprie, J.-C., Randell, B., Landwehr, C.: Basic concepts and taxonomy of dependable and secure computing. IEEE Trans. Dependable Secure Comput. 1(1), 11–33 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Barenghi, A., Viviani, E., Crespi Reghizzi, S., Mandrioli, D., Pradella, M.: PAPAGENO: A parallel parser generator for operator precedence grammars. In: Czarnecki, K., Hedin, G. (eds.) SLE 2012. LNCS, vol. 7745, pp. 264–274. Springer, Heidelberg (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Baresi, L., Di Nitto, E., Ghezzi, C.: Toward open-world software: Issues and challenges. IEEE Computer 39(10), 36–43 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bianculli, D., Filieri, A., Ghezzi, C., Mandrioli, D.: A syntactic-semantic approach to incremental verification (2013),
  6. 6.
    Bianculli, D., Filieri, A., Ghezzi, C., Mandrioli, D.: Syntactic-semantic incrementality for agile verification. Sci. Comput. Program (2013), doi:10.1016/j.scico.2013.11.026Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Borges, M., Filieri, A., d’Amorim, M., Păsăreanu, C.S., Visser, W.: Compositional solution space quantification for probabilistic software analysis. In: Proc. of PLDI 2014, pp. 123–132. ACM (2014)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    de Bosschere, K.: An operator precedence parser for standard Prolog text. Softw. Pract. Exper. 26(7), 763–779 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Cheung, R.C.: A user-oriented software reliability model. IEEE Trans. Softw. Eng. SE-6(2), 118–125 (1980)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Cobleigh, J.M., Giannakopoulou, D., Păsăreanu, C.S.: Learning assumptions for compositional verification. In: Garavel, H., Hatcliff, J. (eds.) TACAS 2003. LNCS, vol. 2619, pp. 331–346. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Reghizzi, S.C., Mandrioli, D.: Operator precedence and the visibly pushdown property. J. Comput. Syst. Sci. 78(6), 1837–1867 (2012)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Daws, C.: Symbolic and parametric model checking of discrete-time markov chains. In: Liu, Z., Araki, K. (eds.) ICTAC 2004. LNCS, vol. 3407, pp. 280–294. Springer, Heidelberg (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Distefano, S., Ghezzi, C., Guinea, S., Mirandola, R.: Dependability assessment of web service orchestrations. IEEE Trans. Rel. (2014) (PrePrint), doi:10.1109/TR.2014.2315939Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Distefano, S., Filieri, A., Ghezzi, C., Mirandola, R.: A compositional method for reliability analysis of workflows affected by multiple failure modes. In: Proc. of CBSE 2011, pp. 149–158. ACM (2011)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Ershov, A.: On the partial computation principle. Inform. Process. Lett. 6(2), 38–41 (1977)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Filieri, A., Ghezzi, C.: Further steps towards efficient runtime verification: Handling probabilistic cost models. In: Proc. of FormSERA 2012, pp. 2–8. IEEE (2012)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Filieri, A., Păsăreanu, C.S., Visser, W., Geldenhuys, J.: Statistical symbolic execution with informed sampling. In: Proc. of SIGSOFT 2014/FSE-22, ACM (2014)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Filieri, A., Ghezzi, C., Tamburrelli, G.: Run-time efficient probabilistic model checking. In: Proc. of ICSE 2011, pp. 341–350. ACM (2011)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Filieri, A., Ghezzi, C., Tamburrelli, G.: A formal approach to adaptive software: continuous assurance of non-functional requirements. Formal Asp. Comput. 24(2), 163–186 (2012)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Filieri, A., Păsăreanu, C.S., Visser, W.: Reliability analysis in symbolic pathfinder. In: Proc. of ICSE 2013, pp. 622–631. IEEE Press (2013)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Floyd, R.W.: Syntactic analysis and operator precedence. J. ACM 10, 316–333 (1963)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Gallotti, S., Ghezzi, C., Mirandola, R., Tamburrelli, G.: Quality prediction of service compositions through probabilistic model checking. In: Becker, S., Plasil, F., Reussner, R. (eds.) QoSA 2008. LNCS, vol. 5281, pp. 119–134. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ghezzi, C.: Evolution, adaptation, and the quest for incrementality. In: Calinescu, R., Garlan, D. (eds.) Monterey Workshop 2012. LNCS, vol. 7539, pp. 369–379. Springer, Heidelberg (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Ghezzi, C., Mandrioli, D.: Incremental parsing. ACM Trans. Program. Lang. Syst. 1(1), 58–70 (1979)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Goseva-Popstojanova, K., Mathur, A., Trivedi, K.: Comparison of architecture-based software reliability models. In: Proc. of ISSRE 2001, pp. 22–31. IEEE (2001)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Grune, D., Jacobs, C.J.H.: Parsing Techniques - a practical guide, 2nd edn. Springer (2008)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Hahn, E., Hermanns, H., Zhang, L.: Probabilistic reachability for parametric markov models. STTT 13(1), 3–19 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Immonen, A., Niemela, E.: Survey of reliability and availability prediction methods from the viewpoint of software architecture. Software and Systems Modeling 7(1), 49–65 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Johnson, K., Calinescu, R., Kikuchi, S.: An incremental verification framework for component-based software systems. In: Proc. of CBSE 2013, pp. 33–42. ACM (2013)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Jones, C.B.: Tentative steps toward a development method for interfering programs. ACM Trans. Program. Lang. Syst. 5(4), 596–619 (1983)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Josuttis, N.: SOA in Practice: The Art of Distributed System Design. O’Reilly (2007)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Knuth, D.E.: Semantics of context-free languages. Theory of Computing Systems 2, 127–145 (1968)MathSciNetzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Kwiatkowska, M., Parker, D., Qu, H.: Incremental quantitative verification for Markov decision processes. In: Proc. of DSN 2011, pp. 359–370. IEEE (2011)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Meedeniya, I., Grunske, L.: An efficient method for architecture-based reliability evaluation for evolving systems with changing parameters. In: Proc. of ISSRE 2010, pp. 229–238. IEEE (2010)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Pham, H.: System software reliability. Springer (2006)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Sistla, P.: Hybrid and incremental model-checking techniques. ACM Comput. Surv. 28(4es) (1996)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Domenico Bianculli
    • 1
  • Antonio Filieri
    • 2
  • Carlo Ghezzi
    • 3
  • Dino Mandrioli
    • 3
  1. 1.University of LuxembourgLuxembourg
  2. 2.University of StuttgartGermany
  3. 3.Politecnico di MilanoItaly

Personalised recommendations