Automated Reliability Estimation over Partial Systematic Explorations

Esteban Pavese, Víctor Braberman, and Sebastián Uchitel

Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina; Imperial College London, UK

Track: Technical Research
Session: Reliability
Model-based reliability estimation of software systems can provide useful insights early in the development process. However, computational complexity of estimating reliability metrics such as mean time to first failure (MTTF) can be prohibitive both in time, space and precision. In this paper we present an alternative to exhaustive model exploration-as in probabilistic model checking-and partial random exploration--as in statistical model checking. Our hypothesis is that a (carefully crafted) partial systematic exploration of a system model can provide better bounds for reliability metrics at lower computation cost. We present a novel automated technique for reliability estimation that combines simulation, invariant inference and probabilistic model checking. Simulation produces a probabilistically relevant set of traces from which a state invariant is inferred. The invariant characterises a partial model which is then exhaustively explored using probabilistic model checking. We report on experiments that suggest that reliability estimation using this technique can be more effective than (full model) probabilistic and statistical model checking for system models with rare failures.