FORCES Project Workshop
April 2001


The sixth FORCES workshop took place at the School of Computer Science, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT - thanks to the University of Birmingham as host. The travel directions gave information on how to get there.

The workshop was intended for consortium members. Other interested parties could contact the project coordinator for an invitation.

Tue. 3rd April 2001

The following was only for members of the Project Management Committee. It took place in the Board Room, on the second floor of the Law Faculty (Building 27 in the central cluster on the campus map).

08.00Project Management CommitteeGraham Clark, Marconi

Tue. 3rd April 2001

The workshop took place in the Board Room, on the second floor of the Law Faculty (Building 27 in the central cluster on the campus map).

The following topics were open to all project members and invited parties. The general theme was that each formal presentation was followed by a debate on topics identified by the speaker. A standard OHP and screen were available. PC projection facilities were also available.

09.00Introduction to the dayKen Turner, Stirling
09.05The OSGi Gateway and The Network Delivery of Managed ServicesDave Marples, Telcordia
Vendors and Network Operators are starting to see opportunities for massively distributed service execution platforms which help to avoid some of the scaling issues that the traditional telecom software industry with its largely centralised approaches to computation has suffered. These distributed and relatively open platforms do, however, bring with them some dangers, particularly in the field of multiple applications interacting with one another in an unintentional fashion. This can be viewed as the Feature Interaction problem taken to a whole new level. In this talk, an outline of the leading Open Services Platform as specified by the OSGi ( will be presented, and three key questions for discussion will be offered.
10.30Modular Feature SpecificationKen Turner, Stirling
Cress (Chisel Representation Employing Systematic Specification) is a notation and set of tools for graphical specification and analysis of features. It is applicable wherever a system consists of base functionality to which are added optionally selected features. The Cress notation is introduced for basic diagrams, feature diagrams, and rules governing their behaviour. Although telephony is used to illustrate the approach, Cress is not limited to this domain. The structure and use of the portable Cress toolset is explained. Cress can generate code for a variety of target languages. The strategy for translation to Lotos is presented, along with some techniques for analysing the generated specifications.
11.40Feature Interaction using Promela and SPIN: The Final Story?Muffy Calder, Glasgow
This talk reports on the conclusions of a case-study using Promela and SPIN for design-time feature interaction analysis. Two major contributions to the success of the case-study are the discovery of minimal abstraction and optimisation techniques that can greatly reduce the cost of model-checking (e.g. by 90%!), and how analysis can be performed automatically using scripts. The final result is interaction analysis of a basic call service with six features, involving four users with full functionality. There are two types of analysis, static and dynamic. The latter is completely automated, making extensive use of Perl scripts to generate the model-checking runs.
13.45Handling Service Incompatibilities in IP-based architecturesMario Kolberg, Stirling
The telecommunications industry has undergone major paradigm shifts in the previous years. One of these is the shift from circuit-switched networks towards packet-switched networks. There is hardly any doubt any more that IP will be the ubiquitous transport protocol of the future.
At present the work towards Internet telephony has attracted a lot of attention. The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) was standardised by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and can be used to establish telephony calls on IP networks. SIP supports third party services provisioning and even end-user defined services.
However, the rapid deployment of services on top of SIP is hindered by a well known problem - feature interactions. In a multi-service provider environment (such as SIP) the feature interaction problem is regarded as an even more pressing issue. Services from different providers from a multitude of service creators may not interwork. This in turn leads to the fact that the ad hoc interaction handling approaches commonly applied in industry today will no longer be sufficient. In this talk, the technological changes in SIP compared to the traditional telephony network will be highlighted, as well as the impact of the changed business environment. The talk will focus on a new approach that addresses these changes.
15.10Agents and Roles: Refinement in Alternating-Time Temporal LogicMark Ryan, Birmingham
When adding a feature to a system, we can sometimes perform checks on the base system and on the feature independently, in order to prove that a given property of the base system will be preserved. The talk discusses some results in this direction, using linear-time temporal logic. This is joint work with Pierre-Yves Schobbens (Namur) and Hans-Dieter Ehrich (Braunschweig).

Attendance List

Muffy Calder, University of Glasgow
Graham Clark, Marconi Communications
John Derrick, Kent
John Evans, Marconi Communications
Aidan Harding, University of Birmingham
Mario Kolberg, University of Stirling
Evan Magill, University of Stirling
Dave Marples, Telcordia Technologies Inc.
Jianxiong Pang, University of Lancaster
Stephan Reiff-Marganiec, University of Glasgow
Mark Ryan, University of Birmingham
John Slape, Marconi Communications
Ken Turner, University of Stirling

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Last Update: 15th July 2006