Timed Asynchronous Reactive Objects in Distributed Systems: TARO

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About TARO

Building reliable software systems is a complex but important challenge of modern engineering. A fundamental determiner of software reliability is the methodology used to develop and verify both designs and implementations. Current tools have significant limitations that increase the cost and development time of software systems. There is no question that one of the fundamental tasks in computer and information science is advancing the state of our development methods: We need better techniques and tools for developing correct and predictable software systems.

Current methodologies are proved to be insufficient and ineffective in developing reliable and trustworthy distributed and asynchronous systems, specially when we are concerned about timing constraints. So, a main challenge of software engineering in future is to establish novel ideas, methods, and techniques for developing systems of this category. In the ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) work programme of 2010 of the European Commission, the first challenge is pervasive and trustworthy network and service infrastructures. At the same time formal analysis and verification are inevitable techniques to ensure dependability of systems.

In this project, we aim at contributing to this research effort. We propose to develop a methodology, techniques and tools, for building fully asynchronous systems, whose behaviour depends crucially on timing constraints, with associated formal analysis and verification support. Our methodology is based on proposing an actor-based modeling language, extended with timing constraints and supported by formal verification tools. The research emphasis in the project places it firmly at the core of the grand challenge of developing reliable networked systems, and at the leading edge of research in software engineering. The real-world case studies will be used as testbeds for establishing the applicability of the proposed methodology and of the associated tools. They will tie together the theoretical and practical aspects of the research, resulting in a substantial synergy.

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