Cse 555 protocol engineering
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CSE 555 Protocol Engineering. Dr. Mohammed H. Sqalli Computer Engineering Department King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals Credits: Dr. Abdul Waheed (KFUPM) Spring 2004 (Term 032). Protocol Engineering.

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Cse 555 protocol engineering

CSE 555Protocol Engineering

Dr. Mohammed H. Sqalli

Computer Engineering Department

King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals

Credits: Dr. Abdul Waheed (KFUPM)

Spring 2004 (Term 032)

Protocol engineering

Protocol Engineering

Reference:“Communication Protocol Specification and Verification” by Richard Lai and Ajin Jirachiefpattana, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1998.

Protocol engineering1

Protocol Engineering

  • Development of a systematic methodology to progress from an initial protocol requirement for a system to the realization of an implementation

  • Concerned with activities involved with design and implementation of a protocol using FDTs during its stages of development

  • Subset of software engineering


A protocol development methodology waterfall model

A Protocol Development Methodology(Waterfall model)

User Requirements

Informal Specification

Formal Specification

Errors detected

Protocol Verification

Implementation Development

Errors detected

Conformance Testing

Interoperability Testing



A protocol development methodology cont

A Protocol Development Methodology (Cont.)

  • Specification: definition of an object or a class of objects, by way of an FDT.

    • Informal Specification: user requirements are studied and desired communication services are then specified in plain language. This includes: protocol model, services provided, reliability and handling of errors.

    • Formal Specification: specification using a formal language. This enables the specifications to be analyzed.


A protocol development methodology cont1

A Protocol Development Methodology (Cont.)

  • Protocol Verification: process of examining this specification for the presence of various errors that could lead to improper system operation.

    • Attempt to demonstrate the correctness and consistency of a protocol design.

    • Correctness: protocol performs according to specification

    • Consistency: protocol’s behavior can be determined

    • Automated protocol verification: the use of computer tools to verify a communication protocol based on its formal specification (Billington et al. 1985)

    • If errors are detected, the specification is iterated.


A protocol development methodology cont2

A Protocol Development Methodology (Cont.)

  • Implementation Development: realization of protocol specifications on a physical system.

    • Development of a communication software

    • Can be derived manually or automatically from formal specifications using implementation tools.


A protocol development methodology cont3

A Protocol Development Methodology (Cont.)

  • Protocol Testing

    • Conformance testing: validation of protocol implementation by testing.

      • Whether protocol implementation conforms to protocol specification rules

      • Which defined options are supported by the implementation

      • Protocol is fed with selected set of test input

      • Output generated are observed and checked against specifications

      • Formal specification may be used as the basis for deriving test sequences

    • Interoperability testing: validation of the protocol implementation using implementations from different manufacturers.

      • Ensures the protocol achieves the purpose of open communication.


Protocol properties

Protocol Properties

  • Usually defined informally

  • Definitions of the properties of a protocol (Sajkowski, 1985):

    • Deadlock Freeness = a protocol never enters a state in which no further progress is possible

    • Safety = a protocol never enters an unacceptable state

    • Liveness = every state of the system is reachable

    • Boundedness = during the operation of a protocol, the number of messages in each channel between protocol entities can never exceed the capacity of the channel.

    • Termination or Progress = completion of required services of a protocol within a finite amount of time (reaches desired final states in terminating protocols or initial state in cyclic protocols)


Protocol properties cont

Protocol Properties (Cont.)

  • Definitions of the properties of a protocol (Sajkowski, 1985):

    • Livelock Freeness = a system will never get into a situation where non-productive cycles are possible and the exchange of the same messages are performed

    • Mutual Exclusion = certain actions in both users of a protocol cannot be executed simultaneously (e.g., access to same resource)

    • Partial Correctness = a protocol is guaranteed to provide a required service if it reaches its desired final state

    • Absence of Overspecification = lack of redundant parts in protocol specification. E.g., absence of unexercised message receptions.

    • Completeness = descriptions of the reactions to all possible inputs are included in protocol specifications (i.e., specification if free of unspecified message receptions)


Protocol properties cont1

Protocol Properties (Cont.)

  • Definitions of the properties of a protocol (Sajkowski, 1985):

    • Recovery from failures = after any abnormal situation, a protocol will return to a normal state within a finite amount of time

    • Fairness = every protocol entity gets a chance to make progress, regardless of what others do

    • Total Correctness = a protocol is partially correct and additionally reaches its desired final state (in the case of a terminating protocol) or its initial state (in the case of a cyclic protocol), for all allowed sequences of inputs (messages or user commands)

  • These protocol properties are not necessarily independent from each other

  • The possession of these properties do not ensure that a communication protocol will be working as expected, but it ensures that the protocol does not enter into an undesirable state


Design and analysis of communication software

Design and Analysis of Communication Software

Credits: David L. Dill (Stanford University), Patrice Godefroid (Bell Labs), Joost-Pieter Katoen (University of Twaente), and High Integrity Embedded Systems Group (University of Northumbria)

Peculiarities of communication software

Peculiarities of Communication Software

  • Communication software coordinates the information flow between interconnected components in:

    • Telephone networks

    • Internet

    • Wireless networks (cell phones, pagers, etc.)

    • Distributed databases (e.g., flight reservation systems)

  • Communication software is widely used

  • Communication software is hard to develop and test




  • Main steps of the software development process.

  • Main tools used for each of these steps in industry today.

  • More detailed discussion on testing.


Software development process

Software Development Process

  • The waterfall model

  • In real-life, steps overlap and have feedback loops


Software development steps

Software Development Steps

  • Requirements specifications and analysis:

    • Determine customer-visible features, feasibility study, development costs, and price of the product

    • Determine “what to do”

    • Done by “system engineers”

  • Design:

    • Determine high-level and detailed design of product that will meet requirements

    • Determine “how to do it”

    • Done by the “architects”


Software development steps cont d

Software Development Steps (Cont’d)

  • Coding and unit testing:

    • Produces the actual code that will be delivered to the customer

    • Test individual modules in isolation

    • Done by “developers” (aks “programmers”)

  • Integration and system testing

    • Test the integration of individual modules and the whole system

    • Testing implies running the code

    • Done by “testers”

  • Delivery and maintenance

    • Deliver the product to the customer and provide documentation, training, field support, and bug fixes

  • “Product manager” manages the end-to-end process


Development tools

Development Tools

  • What are the most common tools used at each step of the development process today in the software industry?

  • Warnings:

    • The list that follows is not exhaustive

    • Only general-purpose tools are considered, not application-specific tools (for GUI, web, databases,…).

    • Names of commercial products are used only as examples, for illustration purposes only.


Tools for requirements specification and analysis

Tools for Requirements Specification and Analysis

  • MS Word and PowerPoint!!

    • Done informally

    • Requirements are often imprecise, ambiguous, and incomplete

    • This can be done partly on purpose…

  • “Formal Notations”:

    • Use-cases, state machines, message sequence charts, tables, decision trees, etc.

    • Less ambiguous than English text

    • Enable simple automatic analysis of specification (check for consistency)

    • Can only cover a subset of requirements

    • In practice, used in conjunction with English text


Tools for design

Tools for Design

  • MS Word and PowerPoint…

    • With diagrams, tables, state-machines, message sequence charts, etc.

  • Modeling Languages (for design and high-level coding)

    • UML, SDL, ObjectTime, VFSM, etc.

    • Less ambiguous than English text

    • Enables automatic analysis

    • Code can be generated automatically of a template of the implementation


Tools for coding

Tools for Coding

  • Defect tracking and resolution managers:

    • Track problem reports and the status of their resolution

    • Record “history” of the system

    • Also used by testers as well as during maintenance

  • Version control systems:

    • Controls and coordinates the various versions of the software (e.g., SCCS, CVS, etc.)

  • Code browsers and editors:

    • Help navigate through the code

    • Also help navigate the history of the code

    • Help compare different version of the code (e.g., diff)


Tools for coding cont d

Tools for Coding (Cont’d)

  • Compilers

    • Translate high-level source language to lower-level target language

    • Report syntax errors

  • Linkers

    • Combine mutually referencing object code fragments

    • Report errors at module interface level

  • Code reviewers (static analyzers)

    • Examine source code to detect programming errors

    • Provide suggestion on code structure and style (type checkers, Lint, etc.)

    • Automated tools for detecting semantic errors through symbolic execution

    • Colleagues !


Tools for testing

Tools for Testing

  • Debuggers:

    • Requires code instrumentation (usually during compilation)

    • Control and examine code execution

  • Memory analyzers:

    • Detect memory leaks and overflows

      • Memory leaks (= memory allocated, no more reachable but not freed)

      • Memory overflow (= access to unauthorized memory address), (unallocated/uninitialized memory, array out-of-bounds,…).

    • Parse and instrument source or binary code to check properties at runtime


Tools for testing cont d

Tools for Testing (Cont’d)

  • Performance analyzers (profilers) and code coverage tools:

    • Count number of occurrences of execution of program statements or procedures

    • Report time spent in each part of the program execution

    • Parse and instrument source or binary code to record runtime information

  • Languages and platforms for test automation:

    • Example: expect

  • Capture/replay tools:

    • Record/replay actions performed during manual testing at standard interface

    • Example: GUI/web testing


Tools for testing cont d1

Tools for Testing (Cont’d)

  • Load Generators:

    • Simulate environment through standard interface

    • Example: network traffic

  • Test case generation from specification:

    • Generate sets of tests from higher-level specification of I/O behavior

    • Easier test management with better coverage

  • Test management tools:

    • Process: help record test plans, track, and report the status of testing project

    • Code: store and execute test code, compare, and store results

    • Used by testing organizations only


More on testing

More on Testing

  • Why test?

    • “To find errors”

    • “The process of executing a program with the extent of finding errors.”


  • What is an “error”?

    • “Any problem visible to the end user”

    • Programming errors, conflicts with requirements, unexpected behaviors, features too hard to use, etc.

  • When to stop testing?

    • In theory, when full coverage is reached

    • Coverage can be defined versus requirements, formal I/O, code, or state-space

    • In practice, test until shipment date!


Tools for testing summary

Tools for Testing: Summary

  • Three main types of tools for testing:

    1. Code Inspection: analyses (parses) the code to find programming errors.

    2. Code Instrumentation: analyses (parses) source code or binary code and inserts code (such as assertions) to check properties at run-time.

    3. Code Execution: help generate, execute and evaluate tests performed by running the code in conjunction with a representation of its environment.


Different levels of testing

Different Levels of Testing

  • Level 1: manual testing

    • Most testing organizations

    • Some tests cannot be automated

  • Level 2: automated testing

    • Automated test execution and evaluation

    • Advantage: automated regression testing

  • Level 3: automatic test generation

    • Automated test generation from higher-level specs

    • Advantages: easier test management with better coverage


What is communication software

What is Communication Software?

  • Coordinates the information flow between interconnected components

  • Each component can be viewed as a reactive system

    • I.e., continually interacts with its environment

  • Examples: telephone, internet, wireless, etc.


Peculiarities of communication software revisited

Peculiarities of Communication Software Revisited

  • Communication software is like any other software

    • Same overall development process and general-purpose tools

  • Developing communication

    • Many possible sequences of interactions between components

      • Coordination problems

      • Race conditions

      • Timing issues

  • Testing communication software is harder!

    • Traditional testing provides poor coverage

  • Debugging communication software is harder!

    • Scenarios leading to errors can be hard to reproduce


Why harder

Why Harder?

  • Implementation looks non-deterministic due to concurrency and real-time

    • Related to scheduling and processing speed, respectively

    • “Non-deterministic” means unpredictable

    • Same sequence of inputs does not imply same sequence of outputs

  • Fundamentally, parallel composition is not “compositional”:

    • Given 2 function f(x) and g(x), f(g(x)) is easy to understand


Tools for dealing with concurrency

Tools for Dealing with Concurrency

  • Debuggers for concurrent/distributed systems:

    • Control and track the execution of more than one process/thread

  • Tools for detecting runtime coordination problems:

    • Detect race conditions at runtime

      • simultaneous writes in same address

    • Detect coordination problems at runtime

      • Deadlocks

    • Instrument the execution of the processes/threads while minimizing the impact on timing

    • Record scheduling information (“trace”) for faithfully replaying multiprocess scenarios leading to errors.

    • Generate a consistent representation (snapshot) of the state of a distributed system

    • Example: Eraser, Assure (for Java)


Tools for dealing with real time

Tools for Dealing with Real-Time

  • Schedulability analyzers:

    • Analyze a set of real-time scheduling constraints and generate a schedule if there exists one

    • Constraints are imposed by the architecture and properties to satisfy (specs)

  • Worst-case execution time analyzers:

    • Determine worst-case execution time (WCET) of fragments of code

  • Performance modeling tools:

    • Analyze performance of an architectural model

    • Uses queuing theory, stochastic processes, etc.


Another approach formal verification

Another Approach: Formal Verification

  • What is verification?

    • 4 elements define a verification framework:

      Verification: to check if all possible behaviors of the implementation are compatible with the specification

  • While testing can only find errors, verification can also prove their absence (= exhaustive testing)

  • Example of approaches: theorem proving and model checking


Theorem proving

Theorem Proving

  • Goal: automate mathematical (logical) reasoning

  • Verification through theorem proving:

    • Implementation represented by a logic formula I

    • Specification represented by a logic formula S

    • Does “I implies S” hold?

    • Proof is carried out at syntactic level

  • This framework is very general

    • Many programs and properties can be checked this way

  • However, most proofs are not fully automatic

  • A theorem prover is actually a proof assistant and a proof checker

    • Limited usefulness


Model checking

Model Checking

  • Model checking is more restricted in scope but is fully automatic

  • Verification using model checking:

    • Implementation represented by a finite state machine M (called, state space)

    • Specification represented by a temporal logic formula f

      • Example: Linear-time Temporal Logic (LTL)

        • Specify properties of infinite sequences s0, s1, s2, …. of states

        • Temporal operations include: G (always), F (eventually) and X (next)

        • Example: G(p -> Fq)

    • Does “M satisfies f” hold? (hence the term “model checking”)

      • For LTL, do all infinite computations of M satisfy f?

    • Proof is carried out at semantic level via state-space exploration


State space of a concurrent system

State-Space of A Concurrent System

  • The state space of a concurrent system is a graph representing the joint behavior of all its components.

  • Each node represents a state of the whole system.

  • Each path represents a scenario (sequence of actions) that can be executed by the system.

  • Many properties of a system can be checked by exploring its state space: deadlocks, dead code,… and model-checking.

  • Systematic State Space Exploration is simple:

    • easy to understand,

    • easy to implement,

    • easy to use: automatic!

  • Main limitation: “state explosion” problem! (State-space exploration is fundamentally hard)

  • Many tools are based on systematic state-space exploration: CAESAR, COSPAN, MURPHI, SMV, SPIN, etc.


Formal verification vs testing

Formal Verification Vs. Testing

  • Model checking (e.g., SPIN) can be very effective in detecting subtle design errors

  • In practice, formal verification is actually testing because of approximations:

    • When modeling the system

    • When modeling the environment

    • When specifying properties

    • When performing the verification

  • Therefore, “bug hunting” is really the name of the game!


Formal verification vs testing cont d

Formal Verification Vs. Testing (Cont’d)

  • Model based testing


Applications hardware

Applications: Hardware

  • Hardware verification is a booming application of model checking and related techniques

    • The finite-state assumption is not unrealistic for hardware

    • The cost of errors can be enormous (e.g., Pentium bug)

    • The complexity of designs is increasing very rapidly (e.g., system on a chip)

  • However, model-checking still does not scale very well

    • Many designs and implementations are too big and complex

    • Hardware description languages (Verilog, VHDL, etc.) are very expressive

    • Using model checking property requires experience


Applications software models

Applications: Software Models

  • Analysis of software models: (e.g., SPIN)

    • Analysis of communication protocols, distributed algorithms

    • Models specified in extended FSM notation

    • Restricted to design

  • Analysis of software models that can be compiled (e.g., SDL, VFSM)

    • Same as above except that FSM can be compiled to generate the core of the implementation

    • More popular with software developers since reuse of “model” is possible

    • Analysis still restricted to “FSM part” of the implementation


Summary formal methods

Summary: Formal Methods

  • Formal methods are based on applied discrete mathematics

    • Set theory

    • Logic

    • Languages, analysis techniques, and tools

  • Applicable to the development of

    • Computer hardware

    • Computer software

  • Used for:

    • Description

      • Specifying requirements

      • Precise and unambiguous

    • Analysis

      • Demonstrate that program function implements design

      • Rigor of mathematics helps develop convincing argument

      • Reduces reliance on human intuition and judgment


Summary reality gap

Summary: Reality Gap

  • Formal methods help fill the reality gap


Summary filling the reality gap

Summary: Filling the Reality Gap

  • Informally: review, testing

    • Formal methods are not complete solutions

  • How to fill the remaining space

    • Formal specification of required properties

    • Formal model of the delivered system

    • Formal demonstration that the system model has the required properties

  • Is it worth the trouble?

    • Apply only for design phases

    • Apply only for critical components and properties


Summary validation techniques

Summary: Validation Techniques

  • Wide spectrum of languages and inference rules

    • Process algebras: CCS, CSP

    • Logical methods

      • Set theory, predicate calculus

      • Temporal logics

      • Rewriting logic: OBJ, Maude

  • Proving equivalence or entailment

    • Not easy to fully automate

  • Theorem proving assistants

  • Model checkers


    • This approach can be fully automated


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