Section: Highlights of the Year

Highlights of the Year

Diagnosis, Anti-alignments and Coverability


Several new advances were obtained, concerning Diagnosis in Infinite-State Probabilistic Systems, Approximate Diagnosability of Stochastic Systems, and Diagnosability of Repairable Faults; see the 'New Results' section for a detailed description.

Anti-Alignments in Conformance Checking – The Dark Side of Process Models

Conformance checking techniques asses the suitability of a process model in representing an underlying process, observed through a collection of real executions. These techniques suffer from the well-known state space explosion problem, hence handling process models exhibiting large or even infinite state spaces remains a challenge. One important metric in conformance checking is to asses the precision of the model with respect to the observed executions, i.e., characterize the ability of the model to produce behavior unrelated to the one observed. By avoiding the computation of the full state space of a model, current techniques only provide estimations of the precision metric, which in some situations tend to be very optimistic, thus hiding real problems a process model may have. In [15], [25] we present the notion of anti-alignment as a concept to help unveiling traces in the model that may deviate significantly from the observed behavior. Using anti-alignments, current estimations can be improved, e.g., in precision checking. We show how to express the problem of finding anti-alignments as the satisfiability of a Boolean formula, and provide a tool which can deal with large models efficiently. In [19], [20], a novel approach to measure precision and generalization is presented, which relies on the notion of anti-alignments. We propose metrics for precision and generalization that resemble the leave-one-out cross-validation techniques, where individual traces of the log are removed and the computed anti-alignment assess the model's capability to describe precisely or generalize the observed behavior.

Approaching the Coverability Problem Continuously

The coverability problem for Petri nets plays a central role in the verification of concurrent shared-memory programs. However, its high EXPSPACE-complete complexity poses a challenge when encountered in real-world instances. In [13], we develop a new approach to this problem which is primarily based on applying forward coverability in continuous Petri nets as a pruning criterion inside a backward coverability framework. A cornerstone of our approach is the efficient encoding of a recently developed polynomial-time algorithm for reachability in continuous Petri nets into SMT. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach on standard benchmarks from the literature, which shows that our approach decides significantly more instances than any existing tool and is in addition often much faster, in particular on large instances.