We develop a novel Bayesian learning framework that enables the runtime verification of autonomous robots performing critical missions in uncertain environments. Our framework exploits prior knowledge and observations of the verified robotic system to learn expected ranges of values for the occurrence rates of its events. We support both events observed regularly during system operation, and singular events such as catastrophic failures or the completion of difficult one-off tasks. Furthermore, we use the learnt event-rate ranges to assemble interval continuous-time Markov models, and we apply quantitative verification to these models to compute expected intervals of variation for key system properties. These intervals reflect the uncertainty intrinsic to many real-world systems, enabling the robust verification of their quantitative properties under parametric uncertainty. We apply the proposed framework to the case study of verification of an autonomous robotic mission for underwater infrastructure inspection and repair.
Deep neural networks (DNNs) are increasingly used in safety-critical autonomous systems as perception components processing high-dimensional image data. Formal analysis of these systems is particularly challenging due to the complexity of the perception DNNs, the sensors (cameras), and the environment conditions. We present a case study applying formal probabilistic analysis techniques to an experimental autonomous system that guides airplanes on taxiways using a perception DNN. We address the above challenges by replacing the camera and the network with a compact probabilistic abstraction built from the confusion matrices computed for the DNN on a representative image data set. We also show how to leverage local, DNN-specific analyses as run-time guards to increase the safety of the overall system. Our findings are applicable to other autonomous systems that use complex DNNs for perception.
We present DEEPDECS, a new method for the synthesis of correct-by-construction discrete-event controllers for autonomous systems that use deep neural network (DNN) classifiers for the perception step of their decision-making processes. Despite major advances in deep learning in recent years, providing safety guarantees for these systems remains very challenging. Our controller synthesis method addresses this challenge by integrating DNN verification with the synthesis of verified Markov models. The synthesised models correspond to discrete-event controllers guaranteed to satisfy the safety, dependability and performance requirements of the autonomous system, and to be Pareto optimal with respect to a set of optimisation criteria. We use the method in simulation to synthesise controllers for mobile-robot collision avoidance, and for maintaining driver attentiveness in shared-control autonomous driving.