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  1. We propose a predictive runtime monitoring framework that forecasts the distribution of future positions of mobile robots in order to detect and avoid impending property violations such as collisions with obstacles or other agents. Our approach uses a restricted class of temporal logic formulas to represent the likely intentions of the agents along with a combination of temporal logic-based optimal cost path planning and Bayesian inference to compute the probability of these intents given the current trajectory of the robot. First, we construct a large but finite hypothesis space of possible intents represented as temporal logic formulas whose atomic propositions are derived from a detailed map of the robot’s workspace. Next, our approach uses real-time observations of the robot’s position to update a distribution over temporal logic formulae that represent its likely intent. This is performed by using a combination of optimal cost path planning and a Boltzmann noisy rationality model. In this manner, we construct a Bayesian approach to evaluating the posterior probability of various hypotheses given the observed states and actions of the robot. Finally, we predict the future position of the robot by drawing posterior predictive samples using a Monte-Carlo method. We evaluate our framework using twomore »different trajectory datasets that contain multiple scenarios implementing various tasks. The results show that our method can predict future positions precisely and efficiently, so that the computation time for generating a prediction is a tiny fraction of the overall time horizon.« less
  2. In this paper, we propose polynomial forms to represent distributions of state variables over time for discrete-time stochastic dynamical systems. This problem arises in a variety of applications in areas ranging from biology to robotics. Our approach allows us to rigorously represent the probability distribution of state variables over time, and provide guaranteed bounds on the expectations, moments and probabilities of tail events involving the state variables. First, we recall ideas from interval arithmetic, and use them to rigorously represent the state variables at time t as a function of the initial state variables and noise symbols that model the random exogenous inputs encountered before time t. Next, we show how concentration of measure inequalities can be employed to prove rigorous bounds on the tail probabilities of these state variables. We demonstrate interesting applications that demonstrate how our approach can be useful in some situations to establish mathematically guaranteed bounds that are of a different nature from those obtained through simulations with pseudo-random numbers.
  3. null (Ed.)
    We present a predictive runtime monitoring technique for estimating future vehicle positions and the probability of collisions with obstacles. Vehicle dynamics model how the position and velocity change over time as a function of external inputs. They are commonly described by discrete-time stochastic models. Whereas positions and velocities can be measured, the inputs (steering and throttle) are not directly measurable in these models. In our paper, we apply Bayesian inference techniques for real-time estimation, given prior distribution over the unknowns and noisy state measurements. Next, we pre-compute the set-valued reachability analysis to approximate future positions of a vehicle. The pre-computed reachability sets are combined with the posterior probabilities computed through Bayesian estimation to provided a predictive verification framework that can be used to detect impending collisions with obstacles. Our approach is evaluated using the coordinated-turn vehicle model for a UAV using on-board measurement data obtained from a flight test of a Talon UAV. We also compare the results with sampling-based approaches. We find that precomputed reachability analysis can provide accurate warnings up to 6 seconds in advance and the accuracy of the warnings improve as the time horizon is narrowed from 6 to 2 seconds. The approach also outperforms samplingmore »in terms of on-board computation cost and accuracy measures.« less
  4. In this paper, we propose a method for bounding the probability that a stochastic differential equation (SDE) system violates a safety specification over the infinite time horizon. SDEs are mathematical models of stochastic processes that capture how states evolve continuously in time. They are widely used in numerous applications such as engineered systems (e.g., modeling how pedestrians move in an intersection), computational finance (e.g., modeling stock option prices), and ecological processes (e.g., population change over time). Previously the safety verification problem has been tackled over finite and infinite time horizons using a diverse set of approaches. The approach in this paper attempts to connect the two views by first identifying a finite time bound, beyond which the probability of a safety violation can be bounded by a negligibly small number. This is achieved by discovering an exponential barrier certificate that proves exponentially converging bounds on the probability of safety violations over time. Once the finite time interval is found, a finite-time verification approach is used to bound the probability of violation over this interval. We demonstrate our approach over a collection of interesting examples from the literature, wherein our approach can be used to find tight bounds on the violationmore »probability of safety properties over the infinite time horizon.« less
  5. In this paper, we study efficient approaches to reachability analysis for discrete-time nonlinear dynamical systems when the dependencies among the variables of the system have low treewidth. Reachability analysis over nonlinear dynamical systems asks if a given set of target states can be reached, starting from an initial set of states. This is solved by computing conservative over approximations of the reachable set using abstract domains to represent these approximations. However, most approaches must tradeoff the level of conservatism against the cost of performing analysis, especially when the number of system variables increases. This makes reachability analysis challenging for nonlinear systems with a large number of state variables. Our approach works by constructing a dependency graph among the variables of the system. The tree decomposition of this graph builds a tree wherein each node of the tree is labeled with subsets of the state variables of the system. Furthermore, the tree decomposition satisfies important structural properties. Using the tree decomposition, our approach abstracts a set of states of the high dimensional system into a tree of sets of lower dimensional projections of this state. We derive various properties of this abstract domain, including conditions under which the original high dimensionalmore »set can be fully recovered from its low dimensional projections. Next, we use ideas from message passing developed originally for belief propagation over Bayesian networks to perform reachability analysis over the full state space in an efficient manner. We illustrate our approach on some interesting nonlinear systems with low treewidth to demonstrate the advantages of our approach.« less
  6. We propose a predictive runtime monitoring approach for linear systems with stochastic disturbances. The goal of the monitor is to decide if there exists a possible sequence of control inputs over a given time horizon to ensure that a safety property is maintained with a sufficiently high probability. We derive an efficient algorithm for performing the predictive monitoring in real time, specifically for linear time invariant (LTI) systems driven by stochastic disturbances. The algorithm implicitly defines a control envelope set such that if the current control input to the system lies in this set, there exists a future strategy over a time horizon consisting of the next N steps to guarantee the safety property of interest. As a result, the proposed monitor is oblivious of the actual controller, and therefore, applicable even in the presence of complex control systems including highly adaptive controllers. Furthermore, we apply our proposed approach to monitor whether a UAV will respect a “geofence” defined by a geographical region over which the vehicle may operate. To achieve this, we construct a data-driven linear model of the UAVs dynamics, while carefully modeling the uncertainties due to wind, GPS errors and modeling errors as time-varying disturbances. Using realisticmore »data obtained from flight tests, we demonstrate the advantages and drawbacks of the predictive monitoring approach.« less
  7. We investigate approximate Bayesian inference techniques for nonlinear systems described by ordinary differential equation (ODE) models. In particular, the approximations will be based on set-valued reachability analysis approaches, yielding approximate models for the posterior distribution. Nonlinear ODEs are widely used to mathematically describe physical and biological models. However, these models are often described by parameters that are not directly measurable and have an impact on the system behaviors. Often, noisy measurement data combined with physical/biological intuition serve as the means for finding appropriate values of these parameters.Our approach operates under a Bayesian framework, given prior distribution over the parameter space and noisy observations under a known sampling distribution. We explore subsets of the space of model parameters, computing bounds on the likelihood for each subset. This is performed using nonlinear set-valued reachability analysis that is made faster by means of linearization around a reference trajectory. The tiling of the parameter space can be adaptively refined to make bounds on the likelihood tighter. We evaluate our approach on a variety of nonlinear benchmarks and compare our results with Markov Chain Monte Carlo and Sequential Monte Carlo approaches.