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Title:Formalizing operator task analysis
Author(s):Yasmeen, Ayesha
Director of Research:Gunter, Elsa L.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Gunter, Elsa L.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Gunter, Carl A.; Roşu, Grigore; Marinov, Darko; Johnson, Ralph E.; Clarke, Lori A.
Department / Program:Computer Science
Discipline:Computer Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):human operators
system verification
task analysis
human error
formal methods
model checking
runtime monitoring
Model theory
temporal logic
model refinement
requirement satisfaction
system robustness
protected task execution
incomplete information
concurrent game structures
formal human behavior model
tolerance of erroneous human behaviors
Abstract:Human operators are unique in their decision making capability, judgment and nondeterminism. Their sense of judgment, unpredictable decision procedures, susceptibility to environmental elements can cause them to erroneously execute a given task description to operate a computer system. Usually, a computer system is protected against some erroneous human behaviors by having necessary safeguard mechanisms in place. But some erroneous human operator behaviors can lead to severe or even fatal consequences especially in safety critical systems. A generalized methodology that can allow modeling and analyzing the interactions between computer systems and human operators where the operators are allowed to deviate from their prescribed behaviors will provide a formal understanding of the robustness of a computer system against possible aberrant behaviors by its human operators. We provide several methodology for assisting in modeling and analyzing human behaviors exhibited while operating computer systems. Every human operator is usually given a specific recommended set of guidelines for operating a system. We first present process algebraic methodology for modeling and verifying recommended human task execution behavior. We present how one can perform runtime monitoring of a computer system being operated by a human operator for checking violation of temporal safety properties. We consider the concept of a protection envelope giving a wider class of behaviors than those strictly prescribed by a human task that can be tolerated by a system. We then provide a framework for determining whether a computer system can maintain its guarantees if the human operators operate within their protection envelopes. This framework also helps to determine the robustness of the computer system under weakening of the protection envelopes. In this regard, we present a tool called Tutela that assists in implementing the framework. We then examine the ability of a system to remain safe under broad classes of variations of the prescribed human task. We develop a framework for addressing two issues. The first issue is: given a human task specification and a protection envelope, will the protection envelope properties still hold under standard erroneous executions of that task by the human operators? In other words how robust is the protection envelope? The second issue is: in the absence of a protection envelope, can we approximate a protection envelope encompassing those standard erroneous human behaviors that can be safely endured by the system? We present an extension of Tutela that implements this framework. The two frameworks mentioned above use Concurrent Game Structures (CGS) as models for both computer systems and their human operators. However, there are some shortcomings of this formalism for our uses. We add incomplete information concepts in CGSs to achieve better modularity for the players. We introduce nondeterminism in both the transition system and strategies of players and in the modeling of human operators and computer systems. Nondeterministic action strategies for players in \emph{i}ncomplete information \emph{N}ondeterministic CGS (iNCGS) is a more precise formalism for modeling human behaviors exhibited while operating a computer system. We show how we can reason about a human behavior satisfying a guarantee by providing a semantics of Alternating Time Temporal Logic based on iNCGS player strategies. In a nutshell this dissertation provides formal methodology for modeling and analyzing system robustness against both expected and erroneous human operator behaviors.
Issue Date:2011-08-25
Rights Information:Copyright 2011 by Ayesha Yasmeen.
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-08-25
Date Deposited:2011-08

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