The ADMORPH project was present at the HiPEAC 2022 Conference, which took place in Budapest, Hungary, from 20 to 22 of June.
ADMORPH posters were visible in the coffee-break area throughout the entire event, while an ADMORPH flyer highlighting the project vision, objective, use cases and architecture and technologies, was distributed to HiPEAC participants.
Furthermore, on June 20 the project participated in the DL4IoT workshop, with a presentation given by Stafanos Skalistis.
Marine Kadar works as project research engineer at SYSGO. She received her PhD from the Real-Time Systems Chair of TU Kaiserslautern in 2022. Her PhD study applied in the scope of FORA, a European training network in Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation project. She investigated how to develop and deploy intrusion detection solutions into embedded mixed-criticality systems, evaluating the solutions in an industrial environment, using SYSGO’s PikeOS real-time hypervisor. Before her PhD, Marine received her engineering degree from ENSIMAG engineering school (France), with a specialization on embedded systems.
Was there a particular reason for you to take an engineering course?
Retrospectively, taking an engineering course was a logical decision in my education path. At school, I have always been interested in science and math. Most of all, I find scientific reasoning fascinating and I enjoy solving practical problems.
After 2 years of generic preparatory classes, I decided to take a course in math and computer science. I then focused on embedded systems, at system low level with hardware mechanisms and operating system programming. I particularly liked security-related problems: e.g. attack methods to hijack a program and countermeasures to protect a systems against such threats. I chose to do my PhD in the domain of embedded system security with the motivation to learn more on the topic.
Since you got your PhD, not too long ago, you already worked in a few companies. Was your decision to go to the industry motivated by the will to do more applied work, rather than fundamental research?
During my engineering studies, I had the opportunity to do internships in a research lab and several companies. I enjoyed different aspects of both work environments: for example, real-life problems in industry and relative freedom in research. That is one main reason, why I chose to do a PhD in an industrial environment. The principal contribution of my PhD was indeed to integrate and evaluate security solutions into industrial embedded mixed-criticality systems, using a commercial industrial platform.
The STEM areas are typically male dominated. Did you felt any difference concerning the opportunities given to women, when moving from an academic environment to the industry?
I did not feel a difference between my studies in the university and working in the industry in regard to opportunities given to women. As there were very few women in my computer science course, I logically met very few women with programming skills in the companies where I worked.
Can you tell us about what you are working on in the context of ADMORPH?
In ADMORPH, I am responsible for SYSGO’s contributions in the project. I have been working on developing PikeOS (i.e. SYSGO’s real-time hypervisor) extensions to support runtime mechanisms in ADMORPH system architecture. These include fault detection methods and adaptation solutions to support ADMORPH use-cases.
My main focus is on the topic of fault and intrusion detection, which is directly related to my PhD work. I contributed to the implementation of a hardware-assisted framework based on ARM CoreSight processor tracing technology to implement transparent control-flow monitoring of a user-level application during runtime. I participated to the evaluation of this monitoring framework in a real-life environment using PikeOS real-time hypervisor and a commercial hardware target.
Finally, if you would be talking to young girls about their future career, would you try to convince them about the relevance of working in a technological area? How would you motivate them?
Since I started to study general science and then when I specialized in computer science, the ratio of girls fell down below 10%. In my opinion, this result is mostly due to personal choices (without constraint), which are influenced by our day-to-day environment: family, role models, school, medias, politics, etc. Changing the society towards more gender equality is a non-trivial political goal. I do not think that one speech can easily make someone change his/her mind on such personal matter.
Hence, more than convincing young girls to choose a career in a technological area, I would emphasize the need for them to do what they like and to be independent, so that they can be free to make their own choices.
Thanks a lot for your answers, Marine!
Finally, after two years of virtual meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the #ADMORPH project partners were able to physically meet once again! The consortium meeting took place at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon, in Portugal, from the 11th to 13th of May.
During the meeting it was possible to review the work that is being done in all work packages, collect important feedback from our Advisory Board members (thank you!!!), and work together to ensure a nice integration of the work around the defined use cases in the naval, railway and avionics domains.
Not less important, we also used the opportunity to socialize and get to better know each other after work, enjoying together some of the nice things that Lisbon has to offer: food, views and weather 🙂
Computation is becoming cheaper and cheaper, with a lot of dedicated core capacity. Because of this, we are plugging in components in our control systems, like anomaly detector and predictive maintenance algorithms, that can help us take better advantage of the computational power for something useful. However, this additional load may come at the cost of problems and bugs, that manifest themselves as deadline misses. The controller that should regulate the plant does not manage to compute a fresh control signal on time.
The paper “Stability and Performance Analysis of Control Systems Subject to Bursts of Deadline Misses“, that received the best paper award at ECRTS 2021 sets off to try to answer the question: should we worry about this? Control systems are designed to be robust to a large set of disturbances, ranging from noise to unmodelled dynamics. Are computational delays and faults a problem?
Recent work on the weakly hard model – applied to controllers – has shown that control tasks can also be inherently robust to deadline misses. However, existing exact analyses are limited to the stability of the closed-loop system. In the paper, we show that stability is important but cannot be the only factor to determine whether the behaviour of a system is acceptable also under deadline misses. We focus on systems that experience bursts of deadline misses and on their recovery to normal operation. We apply the resulting comprehensive analysis (that includes both stability and performance) to a Furuta pendulum, comparing simulated data and data obtained with the real plant.
We further evaluate our analysis using a benchmark set composed of 133 systems, which is considered representative of industrial control plants. Our results show the handling of the control signal is an extremely important factor in the performance degradation that the controller experiences, a clear indication that only a stability test does not give enough indication about the robustness to deadline misses.
Cristiana Bolchini is a Professor at the Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioningegneria of Politecnico di Milano, where she received a PhD in Automation and Computer Science Engineering in 1997. Her research interests are in methodologies for the design and analysis of computing/embedded systems with a particular focus on dependability aspects. She coordinates and has been involved in several EU research projects. She is the General Chair for DATE 2022.
Why did you choose to pursue a career in computer science and engineering?
I actually enrolled and got a degree in Electronics Engineering (Control and Automation specifically) and moved to Computer Science Engineering with the PhD since the area of research I was pursuing fell under that specialization when established in our department. My dad was an electronic design technician, able to fix most electronic appliances at home, and had a small lab with instruments. I saw how passionate he was with his job and thought it was something that could be right for me as well. My career took a very different path, I am not able fix any electronic appliance, but the passion is the same.
Being a women working in STEM, which has traditionally been a mail dominated area, did you felt this could be a disadvantage?
Being one of the few women (I think we were around 5% in my class at the university) made me aware of being noticeable but it never felt as an advantage or disadvantage; I think I simply perceived it as a statistical data… less women were interested in that kind of things.
Sometimes being one of the few women made the others wonder why I was there, and question my competence or abilities, but I guess I did not really see it or feel it as a problem.
As the years went by and emphasis increased on diversity and female access to STEM studies and careers, I realized that I was very lucky for growing up in a context where I could have chosen any path based on my preferences and ability, encouraged and not stopped to avoid being a different item in a set. However this is not true for everybody, and encouragement and promotion are key factors to enable females to understand that they should pursuit their preferred path, because there is nothing they wouldn’t be able to do.
Your research is very much focused on dependability aspects, in particular considering reconfigurable systems. Is this the reason why you came aware of the ADMORPH project? Would you like to mention any particularly interesting aspects in the project?
To be honest I did not came aware of the project, since I have been contacted. So, if you rephrase the question by omitting that part, I can provide the following answer wr.t. what I find interesting in the project.
My area of expertise is indeed dependability, having also carried out research in the area of adaptivity and self-awareness, so I find most aspects of the ADMORPH project of great interest, and I will monitor the project outcomes and results through the years.
You are the General Chair for DATE 2022, so we wish you all the success in your mission! Do you have any plans to foster more female researchers to submit their work and participate in the conference? (we hope this interview might help advertising and contributing to that goal)
DATE and DAC foster a “Diversity in EDA” activity to promote female (and underepresented in general) professionals and researchers; when I served as Program Chair for DATE 2020 I put a lot of effort in bringing diversity in the Technical Program Committee and I am trying to do the same this year. However, it was a tough objective, as female scientists in our field are numerically less than male ones… so it would be great to be able to see a growth in female presence.
I think one effective way to encourage this trend is by providing an example, by showing them that everything is possible.
As a computer science teacher, what would you say to young female students to convince them to pursue a career in computer science?
I encourage them to ignore the statistics and to pursue whatever they like… a computer science degree is an enabling ticket for several interesting careers, independently of the gender.