AWARE Project Summary

AWARE is a research project to investigate the design and performance of adaptive monitoring technologies for highly trusted software systems. The project is being conducted in the Software Engineering and Network Systems (SENS) Laboratory, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, at Michigan State University (MSU).

Protecting the nation's critical infrastructure (e.g., public utilities, transportation systems, telecommunication systems) requires guarding the physical infrastructure, as well as the computing systems used to manage them, against both catastrophic failures and malicious activities. A key part of any high-confidence computer system is monitoring, which enables information to be collected for both off-line postmortem processing and run-time checks that produce an immediate response from the system. Given the requirements for high-availability in many systems used to manage infrastructure, it should be possible to change the monitoring properties as the system executes. Adaptive monitoring can enable deployed systems to be hardened against previously unanticipated failure conditions and new security threats, as well as to enable an administrator or the system itself to "drill down" and examine errant behavior more closely. Assuring the integrity of the monitoring software, and of the reconfigurations effected in response to monitored conditions, is paramount.

The AWARE project addresses and integrates three key aspects of adaptive monitoring: (1) model-driven engineering of dynamically adaptive software; (2) providing assurance of adaptive monitoring software through code generation and verification, both at development time and run time; and (3) real-time decision-making algorithms that enable the system to respond effectively to changing conditions and threats. To validate the proposed methods and facilitate technology transfer, an experimental case study will be conducted with industrial partners on the design of self-monitoring and self-protecting mobile communication systems.

As the cyberinfrastructure continues to expand and diversify, adaptive monitoring will be essential to constructing and evolving high-assurance computing systems to manage physical infrastructure. By addressing an integrated approach to adaptive monitoring, combining rigorous software engineering methods and powerful data mining techniques, the AWARE project promises to produce an enabling technology upon which to construct adaptive monitoring systems for a wide variety of high-assurance systems. The resulting systems will be more robust, more flexible, and more secure than those produced by ad hoc approaches. The AWARE Project is supported by a grant from the Army Research Office. The project started in 2008 and extends though 2011.