Controlling Modelling Artifacts

Michael James Andrew Smith, Flemming Nielson, Hanne Riis Nielson

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


    When analysing the performance of a complex system, we typically build abstract models that are small enough to analyse, but still capture the relevant details of the system. But it is difficult to know whether the model accurately describes the real system, or if its behaviour is due to modelling artifacts that were inadvertently introduced. In this paper, we propose a novel methodology to reason about modelling artifacts, given a detailed model and a highlevel (more abstract) model of the same system. By a series of automated abstraction steps, we lift the detailed model to the same state space as the high-level model, so that they can be directly compared. There are two key ideas in our approach — a temporal abstraction, where we only look at the state of the system at certain observable points in time, and a spatial abstraction, where we project onto a smaller state space that summarises the possible configurations of the system (for example, by counting the number of components in a certain state). We motivate our methodology with a case study of the LMAC protocol for wireless sensor networks. In particular, we investigate the accuracy of a recently proposed high-level model of LMAC, and identify some modelling artifacts in the model. Since we can apply our abstractions on-the-fly, while exploring the state space of the detailed model, we can analyse larger networks than are possible with existing techniques.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication2011 Eighth International Conference on Quantitative Evaluation of Systems (QEST)
    Publication date2011
    ISBN (Print)978-1-4577-0973-9
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    Event8th International Conference on Quantitative Evaluation of Systems - Aachen, Germany
    Duration: 5 Sep 20118 Sep 2011
    Conference number: 8


    Conference8th International Conference on Quantitative Evaluation of Systems
    Internet address

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