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PINCETTE Project

The vision of PINCETTE is to solve the problem of high cost of changes by introducing an automated framework and methodology, and a mix of technologies to identify the impact of changes that derive from intra-component changes (due to error fixing and functionality enhancement) and from component replacement within a single product and a product family. This methodology improves the reliability of networked software by implementing an innovative solution for the automatic detection, localization, and repair of program bugs.

Project Coordinator

Mr. Ronen Levy (ronenl@il.ibm.com)
IBM Haifa Labs (https://www.research.ibm.com/haifa/)

PINCETTE Partners

  • IBM ISRAEL - SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY LTD (IBM ISRAEL)
  • THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD (UOXF.BL)
  • UNIVERSITA DELLA SVIZZERA ITALIANA (USI)
  • UNIVERSITA' DEGLI STUDI DI MILANO-BICOCCA (UniMiB)
  • VTT TECHNICAL RESEARCH CENTER OF FINLAND
  • ISRAEL AEROSPACE INDUSTRIES LTD. (IAI)
  • ABB SCHWEIZ (ABB)

Duration

July 2010 to October 2013 (40 months)

Programme

ICT-2009.1.4 - Trustworthy ICT

Challenges of Networked Software

Europe relies on the availability and flawless functioning of distributed infrastructures, such as electricity, water, communication, transportation, and environmental management. This infrastructure is based on distributed networked IT systems for monitoring and control. Technological innovation offers opportunities for more efficient infrastructure. Innovation in infrastructures and the resulting improvement in quality of life is hindered by the danger of upgrades:

  • A new version, some of the existing functionality can be lost;
  • Incompatibilities between the old and new version can result in major service outages.

As it is infeasible to update the entire infrastructure at once, periods of coexistence between old and new components are inevitable. As a result, infrastructure upgrades are done only once the existing infrastructure performs below acceptable levels. Lowering the risk of infrastructure updates will benefit society, infrastructure operators, and the European systems vendors. All existing validation solutions do not take upgrades into account. A solution for validating upgrades is in dire need because of shorter product lifecycles and increasing complexity and scale of networked systems.

PINCETTE Impact

PINCETTE is focused on assurance of trustworthiness of complex and continuously evolving process control software systems, thus directly corresponding to the Objective 1.4 c) Technology and Tools for Trustworthy ICT. The envisioned strategic impact of PINCETTE is to usher into an era where designers, developers, and users of networked process control systems can rely on an efficient technology of automated system upgrade checks culminating in systems of higher reliability and lower rates of failures. These systems, with their higher availability and reduced downtime, will assure greater dependability of a wide range of networked computing areas such as transport, consumer electronics and electrical appliances, energy distribution, manufacturing systems and healthcare. Thus, the PINCETTE technology will have a strong economical and societal impact and will reinforce the European competitiveness. We estimate that PINCETTE technology would reduce the effort of validating upgrades by more than several orders of magnitude, at the same time improving the reliability of validation.