Congratulations to Prof Matthew Bolton on receiving the following NASA grant through University of Virginia. Matthew joined the MIE Department in August 2012.

Title: NEXTGENAA: Integrated Model Checking and Simulation of NextGen Authority and Autonomy
NASA Ames Research Center – University of Virginia – $77,931
Period: 10/1/12-10/31/13

NextGen systems are envisioned to be composed of human and automated agents interacting with dynamic flexibility in the allocation of authority and autonomy. The analysis of such concepts of operation requires methods for verifying and validating that the range of roles and responsibilities potentially assignable to the human and automated agents does not lead to unsafe situations. Agent-based simulation has shown promise toward modeling such complexity but requires a tradeoff between fidelity and the number of simulation runs that can be explored in a reasonable amount of time. Model checking techniques can verify that the modeled system meets safety properties but they require that the component models are of sufficiently limited scope so as to run to completion. By analyzing simulation traces, model checking can also help to ensure that the simulation’s design meets the intended analysis goals. Thus leveraging these types of analysis methods can help to verify operational concepts addressing the allocation of authority and autonomy.

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Raymond Matthes

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