Abstract - lic thesis David Broman


Safety, Security, and Semantic Aspects of Equation-Based Object-Oriented Languages and Environments


During the last two decades, the interest for computer aided modeling and simulation of complex physical systems has witnessed a significant growth. The recent possibility to create acausal models, using components from different domains (e.g., electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic) enables new opportunities. Modelica is one of the most prominent equation-based object-oriented (EOO) languages that support such capabilities, including the ability to simulate both continuous- and discrete-time models, as well as mixed hybrid models. However, there are still many remaining challenges when it comes to language safety and simulation security. The problem area concerns detecting modeling errors at an early stage, so that faults can be isolated and resolved. Furthermore, to give guarantees for the absence of faults in models, the need for precise language specifications is vital, both regarding type systems and dynamic semantics. 

This thesis includes five papers related to these topics. The first paper describes the informal concept of types in the Modelica language, and proposes a new concrete syntax for more precise type definitions. The second paper provides a new approach for detecting over- and under-constrained systems of equations in EOO languages, based on a concept called structural constraint delta. That approach makes use of type checking and a type inference algorithm. The third paper outlines a strategy for using abstract syntax as a middle-way between a formal and informal language specification. The fourth paper suggests and evaluates an approach for secure distributed co-simulation over wide area networks. The final paper outlines a new formal operational semantics for describing physical connections, which is based on the untyped lambda calculus. A kernel language is defined, in which real physical models are constructed and simulated.



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Last modified on November 2007 by Anne Moe