Preliminaries Essay

849 words - 4 pages

\subsection{Threats in Multi-Agent Systems} \label{subsec:threatsMAS}

Avi{\v z}ienis et al. \cite{Avivzienis2004} defines fault-related terms as: a \textit{failure} is an event that occurs when delivered service deviates from correct service; an \textit{error} is a system state that may cause a failure; and a \textit{fault} is the cause of an error in the system. Despite this general definition, what does a fault truly mean from the MAS perspective? In this paper we apply the terminology that faults in agents' behaviour depend on a given context, i.e. on how each agent interprets that particular situation~\cite{Platon2007a}; and, mainly, these faults are a systemic matter as it might ...view middle of the document...

More precise techniques of error detection for agent-based systems usually rely on detailed knowledge of the domain and the agent itself; yet dealing with these assumptions is outside the scope of this paper.

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\subsection{Spectrum-based Fault Localization} \label{subsec:spectrumfl}

Before describe the modifications of the SFL for locate faults in MAS, we illustrate its the related concepts considering an implementation of the arctangent function in Table~\ref{tab:spectraSFL}. It is meant to calculate the arctangent with two arguments, which is used to output the phase of a complex number; analysing the signs of the input values, the function test a sequence of cases and return the angle in radians. There is a fault in the sign of one condition in statement 6: the \textit{$arctan(x/y)$} is subtracted instead of summed from \textit{$(\pi/2)$}. An error occurs after the code inside the conditional statement is executed, while \textit{$y > 0$}. Note that this fault can be latent in the system and only lead to errors under certain conditions.

The SFL collects data that provides specific view of the dynamic behaviour of a monitored software~\cite{Reps1997}. When applied to procedural software, this data is collected at run-time and consists of a number of \textit{hit flags} of specific component; in this case, each statement of the code has an associated hit. To illustrate the concept of a program spectra, observe the Table~\ref{tab:spectraSFL}. Running this program results in the spectrum matrices where $1$ (and $0$) represents that statement...

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