Runtime verification and software fault protection with eagle
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Runtime Verification and Software Fault Protection with Eagle. Allen Goldberg Klaus Havelund Kestrel Technology Palo Alto, USA. Overview. Run-time Monitoring About E AGLE Software Fault Protection Summary. Motivation for Runtime Verification.

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Runtime Verification and Software Fault Protectionwith Eagle

Allen Goldberg

Klaus Havelund

Kestrel Technology

Palo Alto, USA


  • Run-time Monitoring

  • About EAGLE

  • Software Fault Protection

  • Summary

Motivation for Runtime Verification

  • Model checking and Theorem Proving are rigorous, but:

    • Not fully automated:

      • model creation is often manual

      • Abstraction is often manual in the case of model checking

      • Lemma discovery is often manual in the case of theorem proving

    • Therefore: not very scalable

  • Applied Testing is scalable and widely used, but is ad hoc:

    • Lack of formal coverage

    • Lack of formal conformance checking

  • Combine Formal Methods and Testing

Run-time Verification

  • Combine temporal logic specification and testing:

    • Specify properties in some temporal logic.

    • Instrument program to generate events.

    • Monitor properties against a trace of events emitted by the running program.

A Model-Based Verification Architecture


test & property








under test



event stream







Static and DynamicAnalysis


Test case generation

Runtime verification




Program instrumentation

So many logics …

  • What is the most basic, yet, general specification language suitable for monitoring?

EAGLE is our answer.


  • Assertions (Java 1.4)

  • Pre-post conditions, invariants (Eiffel, JML)

  • Temporal logic (Mac, Temporal Rover)

  • Time lines (Smith, Dillon)

  • Live Sequence Charts (Harel)

  • Automata (Buchi, Alternating, Timed)

  • Regular expressions (Rosu, Lee)

  • Process algebra (Jass)

  • Mathematical modeling/programming languages

    (Alloy, Prolog, Maude, Haskell, Specware)






Eagle’s Core Concepts

  • Finite trace monitoring logic

  • Prop. logic + Three temporal connectives:

    • Next: @F

    • Previous:#F

    • Concatenation: F1;F2

  • Recursive parameterized rules :

    Always(Term t) = t /\ @Always(t) .

Each state is a environment mapping variables to values

Introducing EAGLE

Can encode:

  • future time temporal logic

  • past-time logic

  • extended regular expressions

  • µ-calculus

  • real-time, data-binding, statistics….

  • Monitoring formulas are evaluated online over a given input trace, on a state by state basis

    • identify failure as early as reasonably possible

  • Evaluation proceeds by checking facts about the past and generating obligations about the future.

  • library

    Basic Propositional Example

    // LTL rules:

    max Alws(Term t) = t /\ @ Alws(t) .

    min Even(Term t) = t \/ @ Even(t) .

    min Prev(Term t) = t \/ # Prev(t) .

    // Monitor:

    Mon M = Alws(y>0 -> (Prev(x>0) /\ Even(z>0))) .




    Data Bindings

    min R(int k) = Prev(x==k) /\ Even(z == k) .

    // Monitor:

    mon M = Alws(y>0 -> R(y)) .

    mon Wrong = Alws(y>0 -> (Prev(x==y) /\ Even(z==y))) .




    k := y





    Time is Just Data

    min Before(long t, Term F) =

    clock <= t /\

    (F \/ @ Before(t,F)) .

    minWithin(long t, Term F) =

    Before(t+clock, F) .

    clock is a variable defined in the state

    mon M = Alws(x>0 -> Within(4,y>0)) .

    < 4

    < 4








    max S1() = init -> @ S1()

    /\ open -> @ S2()

    /\ ~(access \/ close) .

    min S2() = access -> @ S2()

    /\ close -> @ S1()

    /\ ~(init \/ open) .

    mon M = S1() .

    Timed Automata



    x := 0





    x < 10

    max S1() = init -> @ S1()

    /\ open -> @ S2(clock)

    /\ ~(access \/ close) .

    min S2(long t) = clock <= t+10

    /\ access -> @ S2()

    /\ close -> @ S1()

    /\ ~(init \/ open) .

    Combining Automatae and Temporal Logic

    open /\ Prev(init)






    max S1() = init -> @ S1()

    /\ open -> (Prev(init) /\ @ S2())

    /\ ~(access \/ close) .

    min S2() = access -> @ S2()

    /\ close -> @ S1()

    /\ ~(init \/ open) .

    mon M = S1() .

    EAGLE by example: statistical logics

    Monitor that state property F holds with at least probability p:

    max Empty() = false .

    min Last() = @Empty() .

    min A(Term F, float p, int f, int t) =

    ( Last() /\ (( F /\ (1 – f/t) >= p) \/

    (¬F /\ (1 – (f+1)/t) >= p)) )


    (¬Last() /\ (( F → @A(F, p, f, t+1)) /\

    (¬F → @A(F, p, f+1, t+1))) .

    mon AtLeast (Term F, float p) = A(F, p, 0, 1) .


    File accesses are always

    enclosed by open and close


    Regular Expressions

    M = (idle*;open;access*;close)*

    max S(Term t) = t /\ @ S(t) . // Star

    min P(Term t) = t /\ @ P(t) . // Plus

    mon M =

    S(S(idle());open();S(access());close()) .


    Locks are acquired and released









    // Match rule:

    max Match (Term l, Term r) =

    Empty() \/ (l;Match(l,r);r;Match(l,r)) .

    // Monitor:

    mon M = Match(lock(),release()) .

    EAGLE by example: beyond regular

    Monitor a sequence of login and logout events – at no point should there be more logouts than logins and they should match at the end of the trace.

    min Match (Term F1, Term F2) =

    Empty() \/

    F1;Match(F1, F2);F2;Match(F1, F2)

    mon M1 =Match(login, logout)



    Some EAGLE facts

    • EAGLE-LTL (past and future). Monitoring formula of size m has space complexity bounded by m2 2m logm

    • EAGLE with data binding has worst case dependent on length of input trace

    • EAGLE without data is at least Context Free

    EAGLE interface

    User defines

    these classes

    class MyState extends EagleState{

    int x,y;

    update(Event e){

    x = e.x; y = e.y; }


    class Observer {

    Monitors mons;

    State state;

    eventHandler(Event e){





    e1 e2 e3 …

    class Monitors {

    Formula M1, M2;

    apply(State s){


    M2.apply(s); }


    class Event {

    int x,y;


    Eagle Implementation

    • Built an initial prototype implementation and used it for a number of applications

      • test case monitoring scenario

      • monitoring the behavior of a planning system

    • High performance algorithm

      • pay for what you use

        • e.g. state machine

      • symbolic manipulation -> automata-like solutions

    Online Algorithm

    • Start with the initial formula M to monitor

    • “see” a new state

    • Transform M to M’ so thatM is valid on the whole trace iffM’ is valid on the remaining trace

    Basic Algorithm: Future Time LTL

    max Alws(Term t) = t /\ @ Alws(t) .

    min Even(Term t) = t \/ @ Even(t) .

    mon M = Alws(y>0 -> Even(z>0))) .

    M0 = Alws(y>0 -> Even(z>0)))

    M1 = Alws(y>0 -> Even(z>0)))

    M2 = Alws(y>0 -> Even(z>0))) /\ Even(z>0)

    M3 = Alws(y>0 -> Even(z>0))) /\ Even(z>0)

    M4 = Alws(y>0 -> Even(z>0)))

    M5 = Alws(y>0 -> Even(z>0))) /\ Even(z>0)











    Toward an Algorithm

    The previous example suggests how monitoring may be reduced to state machine execution

    • For propositional future time LTL by employing normal forms and simplification, the set of derivable monitors is finite. This is the idea behind generating a Buchi automata for model checking propositional future time LTL.

  • However Eagle has,

    • Past time operators

    • Data parameters

  • Past Time

    max Alws(Term t) = t /\ @ Alws(t) .

    min Prev(Term t) = t \/ # Prev(t) .

    mon M = Alws(y>0 -> (Prev(x>0))) .

    Cache: C = Prev(x>0)

    C0 = falseM0 = Alws(y>0 -> (Prev(x>0)))

    c1 = falseM1 = Alws(y>0 -> (Prev(x>0)))

    c2 = trueM2 = false











    Algorithm with Past Time

    • Static Analysis

      • determine what formulas are needed in cache

    • Evaluate formulas in cache in state 0

    • for each state:

      • Evaluate monitors, referring to cache to look up values of formulas headed by #

      • update the cache

    • End of trace

      • evaluate monitor for “beyond the last state”


    • Conjunctive normal form

    • Subsumption: (a \/ b) /\ a => a

    • Term caching

      • assign a unique id to each normalized term

      • Define various caches of the form cache:TermId -> TermId

        • subsumption cache

        • rule application cache

    • Normalization folded into evaluation

    • Ordering evaluation of conjuncts and disjuncts

      • Terms which do not (hereditarily) contain instances of the @ operator will fully evaluate to true/false.

      • Evaluate such terms first

    Improvements : Automata Construction

    • On the fly automata construction

      • for terms that are conjunctions, disjunctions or rule applications dynamically create a state machine (decision tree) for evaluation.

      • map termId -> Automata









    result is termID2



    result is termID1


    Improvements: Reflection Removal

    • Removal of use of reflection for Java expression evaluation

      • Alws(y>0 -> (Prev(x>0))

      • static boolean greater(int a, int b)

      • Defined in user-defined State class

      • Generate during static analysis an interface class that dispatches on term id of methodCall terms to directly call the user-supplied method

        • all arguments must be available, otherwise it must be symbolically evaluated

        • must treat substitution instances

    On the way to…

    • An Eagle compiler

      • static analysis of monitor specification to generate an alternating automata with no term manipulation and no use of reflection

    Instrument Specification

    • An instrument specification is a collection of rules lhs  rhs

      • LHS conjunction of syntactic conditions on a program point (local conditions only)

      • RHS set of actions that log reporting events

    • Each bytecode “statement” is examined to see if it satisfies RHS. Actions of all matching LHS are collected and inserted into the bytecode at that “point”.


    Reportable Events

    Reportable Events

    Using AOP for instrumentation

    F ::=true | false | ~ F | F /\ F | f \/ F | F → F

    | @ F | # F | F;F

    | E| E => F|E & F

    E ::=[Nm:]Nm.Id(Nm,*)[returns [Nm]]

    Id ::= Java identifier

    Nm ::= Id[?] | *

    Example Using AOP

    observer BufferObs{

    max Always(Term t ) = t /\ @ Always(t) .

    min Eventually(Term t) = t \/ @ Eventually(t) .

    min Previously(term t) = t \/ # Previously(t) .

    var Buffer b;

    var Object o;

    monitor InOut =

    Always(put(b?,o?) => Eventually(get(b) returns o)) .

    monitor OutIn =

    Always(get(b?) returns o? => Previously(put(b,o))) .


    Software Fault Protection: Motivation

    To obtain higher levels of assurance and quality for safety and mission critical software.

    Marginal cost to remove next error

    3 errors/1KLOC

    10 errors/1KLOC

    Residual error rate per line of code


    • Instead of climbing the error curve, build mechanisms into the code to protect against inevitable residual software errors.

    • Software Fault Protection.

    Three Levels of Fault Protection

    • Caution and Warning Systems

      • Warning generated for off nominal measurements of system state and resources

    • Autonomic response

      • Circuit breaker

      • MER low battery warning stopped repeated reboot cycle and transition into safe mode.

    • Model Based Diagnosis: fault detection isolation and repair

      • HAL reports a module will go critical in 7 days requiring EVA

    Differences between System Engineering and Software

    • Software does not wear out, but suffers from design and coding errors.

    • Software has not been traditionally designed with using fault containment concepts

      • E.g. on MER hardware exceptions generated by out of memory faults were not explicitly dealt with.

    • A natural concept of component based on physicality exists for hardware. These components have known failure modes

      • E.g. a valve may be stuck on or a pipe may leak.


    • Component is

      • Organizing notion for system composition/decomposition

      • Goal is to identify a failed component and possibly reconfigure components maximizing functional capability

    • Spectrum of component choices

      • Low granularity: a statement is a component.

      • Medium granularity : a procedure/method is a component.

      • High granularity: a component in a modeling framework.


    Software Fault protection

    is like V&V in one important respect:

    • It must be cost effective to formulate model

    • Model must be useful in identifying and isolating faults.

    • Model has a delicate relationship to code:

      • structural + limited behavioral code synthesis,

      • monitor behavioral properties that are beyond synthesis.

    Consistency check between code and



    • High granularity components

      • difficult to model, diagnose and repair at lower levels of granularity

      • Addresses higher-payoff, system of system and system integration issues.

    • Model

      • structural: component/connector models properties

        • interface behavior:

          • patterns of event interactions over connectors

          • real time response

          • data validity (pre- post- conditions)

        • resource usage

          • memory, object creation, disk, communication devices, quality of service, deadlock and other concurrency problems

    Software Fault Protection Fault Detection, Isolation and Repair (FDIR)

    • Detection: instrument and monitor system and identify an error state

    • Isolation: identify the faulty component

    • Repair: take corrective action


    • Detection = property violation

      • Use Eagle to define and monitor propertie

    Isolation (Diagnosis)

    • Process of moving from symptom to identification or isolation of faulty component.

      • Our simplistic approach:

        • Associate a failed component with each property.


    • “Do no harm”

    • generate a problem report

    • Micro-reboot: reset or re-initialize a component to repair an inconsistent data state.

    • Reconfiguration with reduced functionality

    • Replace module with a less capable backup

      • 1.5 version programming

    Producer 1


    Example System


    Producer 2

    • Every request must be responded to the consumer within 50 ms.

    • Consumer must stay alive. It does not stop processing requests.

    • Queue must stay alive. It does not stop receiving and forwarding transactions

    • Any transaction processed by the consumer did indeed originate from one of the producers.

    • Queue size remains bounded at size at most 50.

    • Requests have priority that the Queue must respect

    The State

    class State extends EagleState {

    static String con;

    static int ident;

    static int clock;

    static void update(String event) {...}

    static boolean B1(){return con.equals("B1");}

    static boolean B2(){return con.equals("B2");}

    static boolean C() {return con.equals("C");}

    static boolean D() {return con.equals("D");}


    Linear Temmporal Logic

    max A(Term t) = t /\ @ A(t)

    min E(Term t) = t \/ @ A(t)

    min P(Term t) = t \/ # P(t)

    min U(Term t1, Term t2) =

    t2 \/ (t1 /\ @U(t1,t2))

    max W(Term t1, Term t2) =

    A(t1) \/ U(t1,t2)

    Some Basic Definitions

    min B12() = B1() \/ B2()

    min B2(int id) = B2() /\ ident = id

    min C(int id) = C() /\ ident = id

    Extensions of E and P withData Constraints

    min Et(Term t, int time) =

    E(t /\ clock <= time)

    min Eti(Term t, int time, int id) = E(t /\ clock <= time /\ ident = id)

    min Pi(Term t, int id) =

    P(t /\ ident = id)

    Requirement #1


    Every message from a producer (communicated on

    either B1 or B2) must be responded to and acknowledged (on D) by

    the consumer within 50 seconds.

    mon requiredResponse =

    A(B12() → Eti(D(), clock + 50, ident))

    Requirement #2


    Whenever a message is sent to the queue from a producer

    (on either B1 or B2), a message (not necessarily the same)

    must be consumed by the consumer (on C) within 32 seconds.

    mon stayAliveQueue =

    A(B12() → Et(C(), clock + 32))

    Requirement #3


    There are never more that 40 messages in the queue.

    max CountSize(int size) =

    B12() → (size < 40

    @ CountSize(size + 1)) /\

    C() → @ CountSize(size − 1) /\

    D() → @ CountSize(size)

    mon limitedSize = CountSize(0)

    Requirement #4

    C D Alternation

    The consumer should alternate between consuming

    messages (on C) and acknowledging messages (on D).

    max S1() = (C() -> @S2()) /\

    (~C() -> @S1()) /\


    Min S2() = (D() -> @S1()) /\

    (~D() -> @S2()) /\


    mon C_D_Alternation = S1()

    Requirement #5


    Every message consumed (on C) by the consumer is processed

    and acknowledged (on D) within 30 seconds.

    mon stayAliveConsumer =

    A(C() → Et(D(), clock + 30))

    Requirement #6


    Every message consumed by the coonsumer (on C) has previously

    Been produced (on Bor B).

    mon noJunkConsumed =

    A(C() → Pi(B12(), ident))

    Requirement #7


    Every message processed and acknowledged by the consumer (on D) has

    previously been consumed by the consumer (on C).

    mon noJunkAcknowledged =

    A(D() -> Pi(C(), ident))

    Requirement #8


    The queue behaves as a FIFO queue wrt. messages produced by

    producer 1. That is, the consumer consumes (on C) messages produced

    on B1 in the order in which they were produced.

    max R0() = (B1() -> R1’(ident,0)) /\ @R0()

    max R1’(int id1,int id2) =

    C(id1) \/

    ((B1() -> R2’(id1,ident)) /\

    (~B1() -> @R1(id1,id2)))

    max R2’(int id1,int id2) = @R2(id1,id2)

    max R2(int id1,int id2) = W(~C(id2),C(id1))

    mon orderPreserved = R0()

    Requirement #9


    Messages produced by producer 1 (on B1) have priority over messages

    produced by producer 2 (on B2). That is, as long as there are pending

    B1 messages in the queue, no B2 message will be consumed (on C) by

    the consumer.

    min CForB1BeforeCForB2(int id) =

    U(~(C() /\ identFromB2(ident)), C(id))

    min identFromB2(int id) = P(B2(id))

    mon B1HasPriority =

    A(B1() -> CForB1BeforeCForB2(ident))

    Example Implementation

    • Each component is a process

    • Components communicate using Java Messaging Service

    • Instrumentation by listening to message traffic

    • FDIR component can start, reset, terminate, or replace components


    • EAGLE is a succinct but highly expressive finite trace monitoring logic. Can elegantly encode any monitoring logic we have investigated.

    • EAGLE can be efficiently implemented, but users must remain aware of expensive features.

    • EAGLE demonstrated by integration within a formal test environment, showing the benefit of novel combinations of formal methods and test.

    • EAGLE has a natural application in fault protection, but this is a very preliminary idea yet to be validated as useful.

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