HMI for reactive critical systems


The deployment of higher interactivity in digital cockpits for critical applications (in particular in avionics) is a challenge today both in terms of software engineering and fault-tolerance. Although glass cockpit HMIs have been largely developed for non-critical functions in modern aircraft, critical functions are still implemented today with conventional means (e.g. analog switches, buttons, knobs). The challenge here is to develop highly dependable HMI for critical command and control functions. The work is based on the ARINC661 standard that specifies the format and behavior of HMI items (widgets, layers and other concepts)..

Our work focuses on proposing an approach combining fault prevention and fault tolerance techniques to address this challenge [TCNPDFF11, FFPBND13]. Fault-prevention is ensured by a model-based development of the interactive software (following the ARINC 661 standard) aiming at providing as much as possible zero-defect software. Regarding remaining software faults in the underlying runtime support and also physical faults, the approach is based on fault-tolerance design patterns, like self-checking components and replication techniques. The first objective is to formally define the properties of ARINC661 widgets composition to monitor at runtime. The implementation relies on the space and time partitioning provided by the IMA executive support following the ARINC 653 standard. To validate our approach, we developed an ARINC 653 OS simulator running on a Linux platform, on top of which we will implement our self-checking HMI architecture. Designing resilient interactive cockpits is a necessity in the near future as these command and control systems provide a great opportunity to improve maintenance, evolvability and usability of long living avionic systems.

This work is done in close collaboration with IRIT.



[FFPBND13] C. Fayollas, J-C. Fabre, P. Palanque, E. Barboni, D. Navarre, Y. Deleris. Interactive Cockpits as Critical Applications: a Model-Based and a Fault-Tolerant Approach. In: International Journal of Critical Computer-Based Systems, Inderscience Publishers, Special Issue PRDC 2011 Dependable Architecture and Analysis, 2013 (To appear)

[TCNPDFF11] A.Tankeu-Choitat, D. Navarre, P. Palanque, Y. Deleris, J.C. Fabre, C. Fayollas, Self-checking components for dependable interactive cockpits using formal description techniques, IEEE Pacific Rim International Symposium on Dependable Computing (PRDC 2011), Pasadena (USA), 12-14 December2011, p. 164-173, 2011 


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