Sireum Awas Documentation
2. Sireum Awas Visualizer

2. Sireum Awas User Stories

Sireum Awas visualizer is an HTML5 based web application providing dependency graphs for AADL systems. Combined with a simple abstract interpretation engine enables a user to explore and understand an AADL Model, follow component connectivity, perform risk analysis and secure information flow analysis.

Demo Awas ../../_images/viz_big.png

2.1. Sireum Awas Capabilities

  • Model Navigation: Enables a user to explore a system’s model without installing modeling tools. Provides the freedom of referring the model from both handheld devices and desktops. The user can hide irrelevant part of the model and focus on a specific level of modeling detail

  • Dependency Analysis: A system is a composition of components and Awas provides insight into the interaction of components through component connectivity(inter-component dependency). Along with the interaction of ports within a component(intra-component dependency)

  • Risk Analysis: AADL Annex Error Modeling Version 2(EMV2) provides a mechanism to specify the error behavior of a component using abstract error tokens. Awas visualizes the propagation of errors in a system. Furthermore, Awas helps in finding the root cause of a hazardous system state which may lead to an accident

2.2. Simple UAV System

In this section, we illustrate a simple UAV surveillance system that is used as a running example to demonstrate the capabilities of Awas.

This system consists of a ground station and an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle(UAV). The primary function of this UAV is to conduct surveillance over a specified region. This UAV receives the region information, for instance, a map with the target location and obstacles, from a ground station. In turn, the UAV sends back status information.

This UAV consists of a mission computer and a flight controller. The purpose of the computer is to compute a set of waypoints(GPS coordinates) from a map and a flight pattern provided by the ground station. The flight controller acts upon these waypoints to progress on the surveillance task. The UAV sends a corresponding status code to the ground station whenever it reaches a waypoint.

High-level UAV Sysytem

2.3. Model Navigation

OSATE can produce a system implementation diagram from an AADL system. The following section provides a side by side comparison between AADL instance diagram and Awas graph for the four systems of the UAV surveillance model.

2.3.1. UAS: The top level system with ground station and UAV

Both the AADL diagram and the Awas graph consists of three components namely GND, UAV, and RFB. However, in the AADL diagram the different types of components are differentiated by different component shape. Awas does not distinguish between the types of components. However, Awas explicitly segregates input and output ports. For in-out ports, Awas creates two ports one for input and the other for output. Thus you can see there are two RFA ports in GND component in the Awas side and only one in the AADL side. Awas also separates the bidirectional connections into two separate connections.

Awas provides the following model navigation capabilities over OSATE:

  1. In Awas, the diagrams are interactive. On clicking a node(component and connection), port, or an edge the section of the graph is highlighted
  2. By default an edge represents an AADL Connection. However, this can be modified by the view settings.
  1. Awas will highlight an edge along with the ports involved in the connection when clicked. Although AADL diagrams can have cleaner layouts, the edges involved in complex systems tend to overlap in AADL diagrams which can make it tedious to trace an individual edge.
  1. This icon Sub-graph in front of a component name indicates that this node contains a sub-system. By double-clicking on this node, you can open the sub-system's graph

2.3.2. UAV - Composed of Mission computer and Flight Controller

In a sub-system graph, Awas creates the parent component’s ports as nodes. The node recv_map is same as the port in the UAV component from the UAS system. Therefore, when clicked on either one of the port, highlights the port in both the graphs.

2.3.3. Mission computer - Composed of Radio, UART and Software Components

Awas graphs typically contain more edges compared to AADL diagrams. The additional edges capture the binding relationships between components. For example, the component PROC_SW has two ports processor_IN and processor_OUT connecting the component PROC_HW. These edges capture the relation that the PROC_SW representing the software of the system executes on the hardware PROC_HW. However, AADL diagrams fail to capture these binding relations and the non-trivial information flow through them.

2.3.4. Software - Composed of drivers and logic for computing the waypoints

The Software system consists of drivers RADIO and UART that communicate with the ground station and the flight controller respectively. Apart from the drivers, the software system consists of a filter FLT that checks the wellformedness of a map, and the components to convert the map into waypoints.

2.3.5. Awas Visualizer Interface

At the top of the Awas visualizer page, there are five buttons. The first one from the right is the Settings button to control the amount of information displayed in the Awas graph. The next button is the Awas Query button used to open the query interpreter and the results table view. The next three buttons are dependency analysis buttons discussed in subsequent sections.

Below the top bar is the Awas graph viewer. Each system in the AADL becomes an Awas Graph, and Awas allows the user to view multiple systems at the same time by reorganizing the graph viewer window. The top left of the graph viewer contains a breadcrumb trail that displays the hierarchy of the current component in relation to the system’s structure.

2.3.6. View Options

The View Option panel provides the ability to choose what information will be present in the Awas graph.

Awas View Settings


The view binding edges option in the view options panel modifies the underlying graph data structure. On large graphs, this toggle may take a few seconds to complete. Also, do not perform path queries in the presence of a large number of binding edges. Doing so may take a long time to evaluate a path query. Flows

Flows are the AADL construct proving the intra-component dependencies by relating a component’s input and output ports.

By selecting the checkbox in the settings view, one can view the flow information in components.

Source and Sink flows

In AADL there are three kinds of flows.

  • Flow source - Information originates within a component and flows out through its output port. For example, in the flow * -> send_status the * -> indicates that the information flowing out of the port send_status originates within the component UAV
  • Flow sink - Information flows into a component but does not flows out instead the component consumes the information. Similarly, in the flow recv_map -> *, the -> * indicates that the information received on port recv_map is consumed within this component or the subsystem
  • Flow path - Information flows into the component may be just propagated out or transformed and propagated through the component. The symbol -> indicates the relation between the input and output ports of the component
Flow path

By clicking on a flow, Awas can reveal the relationships between flow and the ports of a component. Connections

In AADL, a user can add flow relations to a connection indicating the information that influences the communication substrate. The AADL instance diagram fails to capture these flows. In Awas, users have an option to view or hide this information. Similarly, connections and the underlying communication substrate exchange information through the bindings relations that is missing in AADL instance diagram. Again, Awas provides an option to view or hide these bindings relation.

Flow path

2.4. Dependency Analysis

In model-based design, the primary functionality of a designer is to translate the system requirements into models. High level requirements are the connectivity among components. Awas can help in checking if the connectivity requirements are translated to the design.

2.4.1. Forward and Backward Analysis

Awas can do two kinds of fundamental dependency analysis based on the direction of traversal. The user can use them to answer specific questions such as the following:

Query 1

If the ground station sends the map, Where does information regarding the map flow? Also, where is it getting consumed?

The answer can be obtained by selecting the port send_map in the component ground station and clicking the Forward button on the top of the screen. This action highlights all the ports that receive the information from send_map. The flow highlighted with a darker shade indicates the consumption of this information. If the user wants to go down the hierarchy, they can double click on the UAV component to see the influence of send_map in the subsystems.

Forward from send_map
Query 2

From where does information needed to compute the recv_status flow from?

The user can select the port recv_status and click on the Backward button on the top right of the screen. This action highlights all the ports through which the information needed by recv_status flows. Also highlights the flows that source the information in a darker shade.

Backward from recv_status

2.4.2. Dependency Analysis Using Queries

While performing backward and forward analysis is quick and straightforward using the buttons, it is not easily reproducible by an automated regression testing suite. To remedy this, we provide a simple query language an interpreter inside the Awas visualizer. To open the query interpreter, click on the Awas Query button on the top right corner.

Query View

The query view tab contains two additional tabs:

  1. Table

    The Table tab lists the previously executed queries. The color in front of each query name indicates the result highlight color. Clicking a query name will highlight the query result in the graph.

  2. CLI

    The CLI provides a terminal for entering the queries. If there exists a solution for the query, the list of graphs containing the solution is presented. Also, Awas creates a table entry in the Table tab and stores the result.

    query forward

    The query forward_GND_send_map performs the same operation of the Query 1.

    forward_GND_send_map = reach forward UAS_Impl_Instance.GND.send_map

    In this query statement, the term before = is the name of the query and everything else is the query expression.

    After the =, there are only two possibilities

    1. Primary Query Expression:

      This can be a canonical representation of a node, port, or an error token or a previously executed query name.

    2. Reach Expression:

      All reach expressions start with the term reach, and the term after the reach indicates the direction of reachability and the rest of the expression identifies the canonical representation of the port send_map.


    Awas query expressions are case sensitive. Multiple Query Results

The last button to discuss at the top right corner is the Clear button. This button’s purpose is to clear the highlights on the graph. However, it can be useful to view the results of multiple queries at the same time.

Multiple Query Results

The query backward_GND_status performs the same action as the Query 2. By clicking on the button backward_GND_status without clearing the result of the previous query we can see the results of both the queries.

backward_GND_status = reach backward UAS_Impl_Instance.GND.recv_status

2.4.3. Complex Queries

The query language’s capability goes beyond the simple queries. Using the queries, the user can compose much more interesting questions.

Query 3

when the ground station is sending the map, how does it get to the flight controller?

The striking distinction between Query 3 and the previous queries is the number of arguments in the query. In this query, the user asks if it is possible to reach the flight controller from the ground station, show how it is possible? In contrast, the previous queries only showed how the information flowed into or out of a specific node, port or error token. Source to Destination Query

Query with source and destination

The following Awas query statement captures the user’s Query 3

GS_flight_controller = reach from UAS_Impl_Instance.GND.send_map to UAS_Impl_Instance.UAV.FCTL.waypoint

This is again a reach expression. However, the direction of the reachability is replaced by the term from followed by the canonical representation of the source of information and the term to followed by the destination point of the information flow.

The source and sink can be any two nodes, ports, or error tokens. If the source and sink are transitively reachable, then Awas highlights results, otherwise Awas will indicate the flow is infeasible. Path Queries

Using the previous query, Awas can capture the information flow between a source and destination, and yet, there are multiple ways information can flow from source to destination. If one wishes to enumerate all the individual paths, they can alter the above Awas query as follows.

GS_flight_controller_paths = reach paths from UAS_Impl_Instance.GND.send_map
                                           to UAS_Impl_Instance.UAV.FCTL.waypoint

The addition of the term paths instructs Awas to enumerate all the paths. This action suddenly converts the simple reachability problem into an exponentially complex problem as there can be an infinite number of paths if there is a cycle in the graph. Our solution to this problem is to enumerate all the paths without cycles and paths with all the relevant cycles. For example, suppose there exist a simple path A, i.e. path without any cycle. Furthermore, assume there are cycles in the graph, and the nodes of the cycles overlap with the nodes of the path A. Then we create a complex path with all the nodes of the path A and the cycles whose nodes overlap with path A.

Using CLI

In the query view, you can see a little arrow in front of the query name which indicates the existence of more than one path. Clicking the arrow will show the list of paths. If one wishes to view only the paths that do not contain cycles, then they can use the keyword simple.

GS_flight_controller_simple_paths = reach simple paths from UAS_Impl_Instance.GND.send_map
                                                         to UAS_Impl_Instance.UAV.FCTL.waypoint

The result of the above query list three paths. Yet, we know there is only one path from the ground station send_map to the flight controller waypoint. This doesn’t mean Awas is incorrect. Awas is producing all the paths which include paths that flow using intra-component flow rather than the inter-component flows in the sub-graph. To obtain only the refined paths, one can use the term refined in the query.

GS_flight_controller_refined_paths = reach refined paths from UAS_Impl_Instance.GND.send_map
                                                         to UAS_Impl_Instance.UAV.FCTL.waypoint
Query result for refined paths Path Based Filter

What if only some of the paths listed are of interest to the user? Alternatively, what if the user wishes to see only the paths flowing through a component of interest. In these situations, the filtering capability of Awas can come in handy.

Query 4

When the ground station is sending the map, is it always flowing through the filter component?

The filter component in the PROC_SW subsystem filters out the maps that are not well-formed. A User can check this by asking is there a path from ground station to flight controller without going through the filter component. If there are no paths found then we can conclude that all the paths flow through the filter component. If a path exists that does not flow through the filter, Awas projects it on the graphs and presents the list of Awas graphs containing the result.

The following Awas query can answer Query 4.

GS_flight_controller_refined_paths = reach refined paths from UAS_Impl_Instance.GND.send_map
                                                           to UAS_Impl_Instance.UAV.FCTL.waypoint
                                                              with none(UAS_Impl_Instance.UAV.MCMP.PROC_SW.FTL:port)

Clicking on the query name from the query view table will cause a The result is empty message to appear at the bottom right of the screen.

Query path filter

There are a few new terms contained the the previous query:

  1. none: This term filters the paths that do not contain the node, port, or error token specified. Similarly, there are two more terms:
    • all: This term filters the paths containing all of the node, port, or error token specified
    • some: This term filters the paths containing at least one of the specified node, port, or error token
  2. :port: This term pulls out all the ports from a component. Similarly one can specify the following self descriptive terms
    • :node
    • :port-error
    • :in-port
    • :out-port
    • :error
    • :source
    • :sink

2.5. Risk Analysis

With the help of the error token propagation mechanism, the user can model the error behavior of the system. Using Awas, the user can compute the flow of errors in the system and may pose the following questions:

Query 5
Is there a possibility of a hazardous situation arising throughout the system operation?
QUery 6
What are the root causes of a specific hazardous situation?

In our UAV system, we do not have any defined safety constraints yet. However, we do have some of the security-related properties. In the UAV system, one of the security property is that only the authorized party can communicate with the UAV. We can abuse the AADL EMV2 language constructs to model these simple properties and use Awas on top of it.

Query 7

Do only authorized and well-formed maps reach the flight controller?

We can check this using Awas by the following query:

only_wellformed_authorized = reach paths from (UAS_Impl_Instance.GND.send_map:port-error)
                                           to (UAS_Impl_Instance.UAV.FCTL.waypoint:port-error)

To view the results, first, we have to enable the view errors checkbox in the view settings. Clicking on the query name form the query view, we can notice only the wellformed_authenticated token is highlighted. This shows neither unauthenticated nor not_wellformed reaches the flight controller.

Also notice the use of port-error term instead of listing each error token in the query. The following query’s behavior is identical to Query 7.

only_wellformed_authorized = reach paths from UAS_Impl_Instance.GND.send_map{UAS_Errors.wellformed_authenticated, UAS_Errors.not_wellformed_unauthenticated, UAS_Errors.not_wellformed_authenticated, UAS_Errors.wellformed_unauthenticated}
                                           to UAS_Impl_Instance.UAV.FCTL.waypoint{UAS_Errors.wellformed_authenticated}
Query with error tokens

2.6. Known Issues

  • Integration with the declarative model

    • Solution in development:
      1. Capturing the source location from the instance model into the Awas graphs
  • High page load time: Currently, the graph rendering and the graph cycles are computed during the page load and when enabling or disabling the View binding edges. Therefore, for a large model, this may take a while to compute

    • Solutions in development:
      1. Use web workers to render in the browser parallelly
      2. Launch a local server from the OSATE plugin, upon opening the Awas visualizer, process the graphs in the server rather than the browser


    Do not perform path queries when the View binding edges option is enabled. For a large system with a lot of binding edges, this may take a while to compute.

  • Regular expressions to filter the paths

    • Solution in development:
      1. Currently the query language supports regular expression. However, the underlying algorithms are in development
  • AADL EMV2 supports state transformation and component and compound error behaviors.

    • Solution in development:
      1. As a first step, weakest precondition calculus is being developed on top of Fault Propagation and Transformation Calculus(FPTC)
      2. Long term goal: Discharge the query specific sub system to model checkers e.g. AltaRica, etc.
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