Phriky-units: A lightweight, annotation-free physical unit inconsistency detection tool

John Paul Ore, Carrick Detweiler, Sebastian Elbaum

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Systems that interact with the physical world use software that represents and manipulates physical quantities. To operate correctly, these systems must obey the rules of how quantities with physical units can be combined, compared, and manipulated. Incorrectly manipulating physical quantities can cause faults that go undetected by the type system, likely manifesting later as incorrect behavior. Existing approaches for inconsistency detection require code annotation, physical unit libraries, or specialized programming languages. We introduce Phriky-Units1, a static analysis tool that detects physical unit inconsistencies in robotic software without developer annotations. It does so by capitalizing on existing shared libraries that handle standardized physical units, common in the cyber-physical domain, to link class attributes of shared libraries to physical units. In this work, we describe how Phriky-Units works, provide details of the implementation, and explain how Phriky-Units can be used. Finally we present a summary of an empirical evaluation showing it has an 87% true positive rate for a class of inconsistencies we detect with high-confidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationISSTA 2017 - Proceedings of the 26th ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis
EditorsKoushik Sen, Tevfik Bultan
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages352-355
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781450350761
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 10 2017
Event26th ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis, ISSTA 2017 - Santa Barbara, United States
Duration: Jul 10 2017Jul 14 2017

Publication series

NameISSTA 2017 - Proceedings of the 26th ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis

Conference

Conference26th ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis, ISSTA 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySanta Barbara
Period7/10/177/14/17

Keywords

  • Dimensional analysis
  • Physical units
  • Program analysis
  • Robotic systems
  • Static analysis
  • Type checking
  • Unit consistency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Software

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Phriky-units: A lightweight, annotation-free physical unit inconsistency detection tool'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this