A Component-Based Simplex Architecture for High-Assurance Cyber-Physical Systems

Dung Phan, Junxing Yang, Matthew Clark, Radu Grosu, John Schierman, Scott A. Smolka, and Scott D. Stoller

We present Component-Based Simplex Architecture (CBSA), a new framework for assuring the runtime safety of component-based cyber-physical systems (CPSs). CBSA integrates Assume-Guarantee (A-G) reasoning with the core principles of the Simplex control architecture to allow component-based CPSs to run advanced, uncertified controllers while still providing runtime assurance that A-G contracts and global properties are satisfied. In CBSA, multiple Simplex instances, which can be composed in a nested, serial or parallel manner, coordinate to assure system-wide properties.

Combining A-G reasoning and the Simplex architecture is a challenging problem that yields significant benefits. By utilizing A-G contracts, we are able to compositionally determine the switching logic for CBSAs, thereby alleviating the state explosion encountered by other approaches. Another benefit is that we can use A-G proof rules to decompose the proof of system-wide safety assurance into sub-proofs corresponding to the component-based structure of the system architecture. We also introduce the notion of coordinated switching between Simplex instances, a key component of our compositional approach to reasoning about CBSA switching logic.

We illustrate our framework with a component-based control system for a ground rover. We formally prove that the CBSA for this system guarantees two safety properties: (i) Energy Safety, which ensures the rover never runs out of power, and (ii) Collision Freedom, which ensures the rover never collides with a stationary obstacle. We also consider a CBSA for the rover that assures Mission Completion: all target destinations are visited within a prescribed amount of time.