Collaborative Research Center SFB/TR 14
The Collaborative Research Center/Transregio's “SFB/TR 14: Automatic Verification and Analysis of Complex Systems” (
In 2003, computer scientists and mathematicians working on this project began investigating how to improve the reliability of computer-based systems controlling technical processes in safety-critical areas. These control systems, which ensure functionality, convenience and safety in transport applications, power plants and industrial facilities, are hugely complex. This complexity is a consequence of the interaction required between digital and physical processes, the integration of a large number of different components and the use of these systems in different environments. At the same time, the functions that these control devices perform are becoming increasingly diverse and demanding. The performance output of basic components doubles every two years, on average, and as a rule these components are quickly and widely distributed throughout the relevant elements of the transport industry. At the same time, however, the error rate experienced by these systems is increasing, and while they do undergo quality control checks, overall functional relationship cannot be monitored in this way.
The reliability of these systems can only be significantly improved if software engineers are able to analyze and check critical properties with automated techniques or, as it were, at the touch of a button. This is why AVACS aims to investigate automatic analysis of highly integrated systems even during the development phase - the new European Railway Traffic Management System, ETCS Level 3, is being jointly studied within AVACS. Researchers working on AVACS are combining methods from the mathematical semantics of complex systems (consolidation) with algorithmic deductive methods (automation).
Funding from the German Research Foundation (DFG) for the first phase (2004-2007) of SFB/TR 14 amounts to approximately 8 million euros. The funding period may be extended to a total of 12 years.