The focus of the System Evolution and Monitoring (EVO) department is on research into design and assessment methods and tools to ensure trustworthy system evolution during operation as well as the automatic collection of system performance and diagnostic information for continuous improvement. This information closes the loop to THD content. On the one hand, EVO will investigate evolvable hardware/software platforms that are predictable in terms of extra-functional system properties (e. g., safety, security, timing, power, resource consumption). Hypervisor and virtualization approaches will be developed to support the dynamic deployment of system updates and upgrades in the field. This work will be complemented by research on safe and secure update and upgrade mechanisms at all system levels (component, subsystem, system, system-of-system). In order to increase the technical trustworthiness of systems and to detect temporary violations that need to be compensated by respective fail-operational and self-repair mechanisms, in-field monitoring and diagnosis mechanisms using Contract-Based-Design techniques will be developed for continuous trust assessment during operation.
Deployment and Updates
In the "Deployment and Updates" group, the research questions revolve primarily around a modularization of hardware/software platforms to enable modular updates. This technical basis is needed to integrate new software and hardware states into an existing system without affecting the behavior of the rest of the system. Building on this basic update capability, methods for seamless transition between different software states will be explored. In the course of this, a process perspective for modular updates and dynamic deployment will be developed.
Configuration and Evolution
The main focus of the “Configuration and Evolution” group is on the development of the successful adaptation of a system to changing environmental and operating conditions, as well as on the associated permissible changes and their limits to be set. Likewise, the group provides answers to the question of how to control functional changes; thus, it creates the functional perspective on updates/evolution. This includes the use of update and reconfiguration technologies for context-dependent mode switching without violating safety properties of the overall system.
Monitoring and Diagnosis
The "Monitoring and Diagnosis" group is concerned with monitoring the system at operating time in the field. This includes solutions for observation, evaluation, local handling (reaction), and forwarding (feedback) of events that may occur during operation. Solutions for problem detection, handling, and feedback are developed for monitoring system characteristic such as functional behavior, temporal behavior, and resource utilization. Across different levels of abstraction, it is monitored whether the system (still) behaves as it should, while errors and deviations are detected and, if possible, fed to a local treatment or reported to the next higher system level (feedback).