Section: Partnerships and Cooperations

National Initiatives


  • Project acronym: ISITE LUE - Digitrust

  • Project title: Lorraine Université d'Excellence, Citizen Trust in the Digital World

  • Duration: 2016 – 2020

  • Coordinator: Marine Minier

  • Participants: Margaux Durœulx, Stephan Merz

  • Abstract: Digitrust is one of the “impact” projects within the excellence funding acquired by University of Lorraine and supports research into different aspects related to the trustworthiness and security of digital systems. It funds the PhD thesis of Margaux Durœulx on the use of SAT techniques for assessing system reliability.

ANR International Project ProMiS

  • Project acronym: ProMiS.

  • Project title: Provable Mitigation of Side Channel through Parametric Verification

  • Duration: November 2019 – April 2022.

  • Coordinators: Étienne André and Jun Sun (Singapore Management University, Singapore).

  • Other partners: École Centrale Nantes, Singapore University of Technology and Design.

  • Participants: Étienne André.

  • Abstract: ProMiS is an international project, funded by ANR in France and by NRF in Singapore under the PRCI program.

    The Spectre vulnerability has recently been reported, which affects most modern processors. The idea is that attackers can extract information about the private data using a timing attack. It is an example of side channel attacks, where secure information flows through side channels unintentionally. How to systematically mitigate such attacks is an important and yet challenging research problem.

    We propose to automatically synthesize mitigation of side channel attacks (e.g., timing or cache) using well-developed verification techniques. The idea is to reduce this problem to the parameter synthesis problem of a given formalism (for instance, parametric timed automata). Given a program or system with design parameters which can be tuned to mitigate side channel attacks, our approach will automatically generate provably secure valuations of the parameters. We plan to deliver a toolkit which can be automatically applied to real-world systems.

ANR International Project SYMBIONT

  • Project acronym: SYMBIONT.

  • Project title: Symbolic Methods for Biological Networks.

  • Duration: July 2018 – June 2021.

  • Coordinators: Thomas Sturm and Andreas Weber (Univ. of Bonn, Germany).

  • Other partners: Univ. of Lille 1, Univ. of Montpellier, Inria Saclay Île de France (Lifeware), RWTH Aachen (Department of Mathematics and Joint Research Center for Computational Biomedecine), Univ. of Kassel.

  • Participants: Thomas Sturm, Hamid Rahkooy.

  • Abstract: SYMBIONT is an international interdisciplinary project, funded by ANR in France and by DFG in Germany under the PRCI program. It includes researchers from mathematics, computer science, systems biology, and systems medicine. Computational models in systems biology are built from molecular interaction networks and rate laws, involving parameters, resulting in large systems of differential equations. The statistical estimation of model parameters is computationally expensive and many parameters are not identifiable from experimental data. The project aims at developing novel symbolic methods, aiming at the formal deduction of principal qualitative properties of models, for complementing the currently prevailing numerical approaches. Concrete techniques include tropical geometry, real algebraic geometry, theories of singular perturbations, invariant manifolds, and symmetries of differential systems. The methods are implemented in software and validated against models from computational biology databases.

  • More information: https://www.symbiont-project.org/.

ANR Project Formedicis

  • Project acronym: Formedicis.

  • Project title: Formal methods for the development and the engineering of critical interactive systems.

  • Duration: January 2017 – December 2020.

  • Coordinator: Bruno d'Augsbourg (Onera).

  • Other partners: ENSEEIHT/IRIT Toulouse, ENAC, Université de Lorraine (Veridis).

  • Participants: Dominique Méry, Horatiu Cirstea.

  • Abstract: During the last 30 years, the aerospace domain has successfully devised rigorous methods and tools for the development of safe functionally-correct software. During this process, interactive software has received a relatively lower amount of attention. However, Human-System Interactions (HSI) are important for critical systems and especially in aeronautics: for example, the investigation into the crash of the Rio-Paris flight AF 447 in 2009 pointed out a design issue in the Flight Director interface as one of the original causes of the crash. Formedicis aims at designing a formal hub language, in which designers can express their requirements concerning the interactive behavior that must be embedded inside applications, and at developing a framework for validating, verifying, and implementing critical interactive applications expressed in that language.

  • More information: http://www.agence-nationale-recherche.fr/Project-ANR-16-CE25-0007.


  • Project acronym: DISCONT.

  • Project title: Correct integration of discrete and continuous models.

  • Duration: March 2018 – February 2022.

  • Coordinator: Paul Gibson (Telecom Sud Paris), until February 2019; Dominique Méry, since March 2019.

  • Other partners: ENSEEIHT/IRIT Toulouse, LACL, ClearSy, Université de Lorraine (Veridis).

  • Participants: Dominique Méry, Zheng Cheng.

  • Abstract: Cyber-Physical Systems (CPSs) connect the real world to software systems through a network of sensors and actuators that interact in complex ways, depending on context and involving different spatial and temporal scales. Typically, a discrete software controller interacts with its physical environment in a closed-loop schema where input from sensors is processed and output is generated and communicated to actuators. We are concerned with the verification of the correctness of such discrete controllers, which requires correct integration of discrete and continuous models. Correctness should arise from a design process based on sound abstractions and models of the relevant physical laws. The systems are generally characterized by differential equations with solutions in continuous domains; discretization steps are therefore of particular importance for assessing the correctness of CPSs. DISCONT aims at bridging the gap between the discrete and continuous worlds of formal methods and control theory. We will lift the level of abstraction above that found in current bridging techniques and provide associated methodologies and tools. Our concrete objectives are to develop a formal hybrid model, elaborate refinement steps for control requirements, propose a rational step-wise design method and support tools, and validate them based on use cases from a range of application domains.

  • More information: https://fusionforge.int-evry.fr/www/discont/.


  • Project acronym: PARDI.

  • Project title: Verification of parameterized distributed systems.

  • Duration: January 2017 – December 2021.

  • Coordinator: Philippe Quéinnec (ENSEEIHT/IRIT Toulouse).

  • Other partners: Université Paris Sud/LRI, Université Nanterre/LIP6, Inria Nancy – Grand Est (Veridis).

  • Participants: Igor Konnov, Stephan Merz.

  • Abstract: Distributed systems and algorithms are parameterized by the number of participating processes, the communication model, the fault model, and more generally the properties of interaction among the processes. The project aims at providing methodological and tool support for verifying parameterized systems, using combinations of model checking and theorem proving. VeriDis contributes its expertise on TLA+ and its verification tools, and the integration with the Cubicle model checker is a specific goal of the project.

  • More information: http://pardi.enseeiht.fr/.


  • Project acronym: HAC SPECIS.

  • Project title: High-performance application and computers: studying performance and correctness in simulation.

  • Duration: June 2016 – June 2020.

  • Coordinator: Arnaud Legrand (CNRS & Inria Grenoble Rhône Alpes, Polaris).

  • Other partners: Inria Grenoble Rhône Alpes (Avalon), Inria Rennes Bretagne Atlantique (Myriads), Inria Bordeaux Sud Ouest (Hiepacs, Storm), Inria Saclay Île de France (Mexico), Inria Nancy Grand Est (Veridis).

  • Participants: Marie Duflot-Kremer, Stephan Merz.

  • Abstract: The goal of HAC SPECIS is to allow the study of real HPC systems with respect to both correctness and performance. To this end, this Inria Project Lab assembles experts from the HPC, formal verification, and performance evaluation communities. VeriDis contributes its expertise in formal verification techniques. In particular, our goal is to extend the functionalities of exhaustive and statistical model checking within the SimGrid platform. Yann Duplouy joined the project in December 2018 as a post-doctoral researcher with the objective of designing and implementing a statistical model checker for SimGrid.

  • More information: http://hacspecis.gforge.inria.fr.

DFG Transregional Research Center 248 CPEC

  • Project acronym: CPEC.

  • Project title: Foundations of Perspicuous Software Systems.

  • Duration: January 2019 – December 2022.

  • Coordinators: Holger Hermanns (Saarland University, Germany) and Raimund Dachselt (University of Dresden, Germany).

  • Other partners: Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, Saarbrücken.

  • Participants: Alberto Fiori, Sophie Tourret, Christoph Weidenbach.

  • Abstract: With cyber-physical technology increasingly impacting our lives, it is very important to ensure that humans can understand them. Systems lack support for making their behaviour plausible to their users. And even for technology experts it is nowadays virtually impossible to provide scientifically well-founded answers to questions about the exact reasons that lead to a particular decision, or about the responsibility for a malfunctioning. The root cause of the problem is that contemporary systems do not have any built-in concepts to explicate their behaviour. They calculate and propagate outcomes of computations, but are not designed to provide explanations. They are not perspicuous. The key to enable comprehension in a cyber-physical world is a science of perspicuous computing.

  • More information: https://www.perspicuous-computing.science/.