Title page for ETD etd-10242012-153450

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Peralta, Manuel Alfonso
URN etd-10242012-153450
Title Perpetual Requirements Engineering
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Computer Science
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Mukhopadhyay, Supratik Committee Chair
Busch, Konstantin Committee Member
Karki, Bijaya Committee Member
Keiser, Harmut Committee Member
Sabliov, Christina Dean's Representative
  • Computer Security
  • Software Engineering
  • Modal Logic
  • Logic Programming
  • Software Verification
  • Sensor Networks
Date of Defense 2012-06-04
Availability unrestricted
This dissertation attempts to make a contribution within the fields of distributed systems, security,

and formal verification. We provide a way to formally assess the impact of a given change in

three different contexts. We have developed a logic based on Lewis’s Counterfactual Logic. First

we show how our approach is applied to a standard sequential programming setting. Then, we

show how a modified version of the logic can be used in the context of reactive systems and sensor

networks. Last but not least we show how this logic can be used in the context of security systems.

Traditionally, change impact analysis has been viewed as an area in traditional software engineering.

Software artifacts (source code, usually) are modified in response to a change in user

requirements. Aside from making sure that the changes are inherently correct (testing and verification),

programmers (software engineers) need to make sure that the introduced changes are

coherent with those parts of the systems that were not affected by the artifact modification. The

latter is generally achieved by establishing a dependency relation between software artifacts. In

rough lines, the process of change management consists of projecting the transitive closure of the

this dependency relation based on the set of artifacts that have actually changed and assessing how

the related artifacts changed.

The latter description of the traditional change management process generally occurs after the

affected artifacts are changed. Undesired secondary effects are usually found during the testing

phase after the changes have been incorporated. In cases when there is certain level of criticality,

there is always a division between production and development environments. Change management

(either automatic, tool driven, or completely manually done) can introduce extraneous defects

into any of the changed software life-cycle artifacts. The testing phase tries to eradicate a

relatively large portion of the undesired defects introduced by change. However, traditional testing

techniques are limited by their coverage strength. Therefore, even when maximum coverage is

guaranteed there is always the non-zero probability of having secondary effects prior to a change.

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