Information Trust Institute block of abstract images
Information Trust Institute block of abstract images

ITI Researchers Win Best Paper Award at PADS

A paper describing ITI research has won the Best Paper award at the 2012 ACM/IEEE/SCS Workshop on Principles of Advanced and Distributed Simulation (PADS).

The paper, entitled “Virtual Time Integration of Emulation and Parallel Simulation,” was authored by Dong (Kevin) Jin, Yuhao Zheng, Huaiyu Zhu, ITI director David M. Nicol, and Lenhard Winterrowd.

To analyze large-scale systems with high fidelity, it is necessary for a testbed to offer both effective emulation (to represent software execution) and realistic simulation (to model background computation and communication). The main contributions of the research described in Jin et al.’s paper consisted of building such a testbed—integrating a parallel network simulator with a virtual-machine-based emulation framework—and developing algorithms for the design and management of virtual time in transitions from emulation to simulation and back.

“Integrating emulation and simulation systems is not a trivial task, since emulation advances the state of the program with respect to real, ‘wallclock’ time, and simulation advances the state of the model with respect to the more abstract ‘virtual time,’” explains Jin. “We integrated the ‘virtual time’ concept into a virtual-machine-based emulation system, and built our system based on the virtual time. As a result, our testbed provides both functional and temporal fidelity for running large-scale networking experiments. In addition, we addressed a serious concern about the unavoidable uncertainties involved in emulation behavior. The scale and impact of those uncertainties were not known. We addressed the issue by finding analytical bounds for the error, and produced empirical data showing that the error is as small as the minimum system execution unit.”

The authors applied their developed approach to a case study involving a distributed denial-of-service cyber-attack on an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (a type of “smart” power grid communication system). The experiments established the efficacy of their system.

“PADS is the premiere conference for academic work in discrete-event simulation and modeling,” says Nicol. “We’re pleased at the recognition the PADS community has given this work.”

The research was supported by the Boeing Company through ITI’s Boeing Trusted Software Center, and by ITI’s Trustworthy Cyber Infrastructure for the Power Grid (TCIPG) Center, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy with support from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The 26th ACM/IEEE/SCS Workshop on Principles of Advanced and Distributed Simulation was held in Zhangjiajie, China, in July 2012.