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COSSIM Report Summary

Project ID: 644042
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - COSSIM (A Novel, Comprehensible, Ultra-Fast, Security-Aware CPS Simulator)

Reporting period: 2016-02-01 to 2017-01-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Summary Description of the Project

The COSSIM project aims to address all those needs by providing an open-source CPS simulation framework. The framework will provide an integrated simulator of both the networking and the processing parts of a CPS by merging a full-system simulator with a novel state-of-the-art network simulator. To address the critical issue of performance (as measured in required simulation time), COSSIM plans to use parallel systems as well as hardware acceleration in the form of field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and targets one to two orders of magnitude higher performance than any similar combination of CPS simulation tools.
Furthermore, the COSSIM simulation framework will report on energy/power consumption aspects by integrating energy estimation tools for both the processing and the network parts of the CPS system under simulation. This way a more accurate capture of the energy requirements of a CPS system can be provided.
Last but not least, COSSIM plans to integrate into the CPS simulation framework for the first time security models in order to address the fundamental issue of security testing. The models, developed entirely internally in the project, will provide an evaluation of the security of the CPS system under simulation by performing security and robustness tests.

Overall Project Objectives
COSSIM aims at introducing a novel CPS simulation framework that will allow CPS designers to simulate in an integrated way the digital processing parts of each node participating in a CPS under design and the network interactions between all connected nodes, while capturing energy requirements and reporting on security issues. The project has the following objectives:
• Objective 1: Develop an open-source simulation framework backed by a large community that can, for the first time, simulate a complete CPS comprising of CPS nodes incorporating multi-core CPUs, complex accelerators and peripherals, and interconnected with complex and heterogeneous networks.
• Objective 2: Significantly accelerate simulation of complex CPS when compared with the existing solutions. Integration of previously disconnected simulators for every aspect of a CPS design will lead to increased productivity and decrease (if not eliminate) the amount of time engineers need to spend in tasks not directly relevant to their main CPS design effort (for example effort spent to adapt simulation results of a specific tool so that they can be used as input to another tool measuring a different aspect of the CPS under design).
• Objective 3: Provide at least 50% more accurate power consumption estimations than existing solutions by using higher quality (lower level) power estimation tools and models and tightly integrating processing and network simulators with power estimators.
• Objective 4: Support for the first time in a CPS tool security features/levels as aspects of the system simulation. COSSIM is developing internally security testing mechanisms that tap directly into the CPS simulators that are being developed and provide reports and tests on critical security aspects that have to be investigated.
• Objective 5: Simulate two real-world applications from different domains so as to demonstrate all the above unique features in highly demanding commercial environments.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The execution of the project in the second period was timely in general and achieved the following:
• Concerning the GEM5 simulator, during the reported period, the following work has been made in order to adapt it for the COSSIM framework:
o HLA interface has been further improved and optimized
o A pause/resume functionality has been developed.
o GEM5 has been extended to support sensor devices in the processing system (to enable simulation of components of the physical world).
o Two lightweight linux distributions have been ported to GEM5.
o Ubuntu 12.04 Linux distribution is now integrated for both X86 & ARM with Ubuntu-minimal & Ubuntu-essential packages.
• Concerning the OMNET++ network simulator, the following work has been made during the reported period:
o Micro-router functionality within OMNET++ has been implemented
o The graphical user interface of OMNET++ has been extended and transformed to the main GUI of the overall COSSIM framework.
• Concerning the McPAT energy/power estimator, we have provided power model templates that can be used with GEM5’s simpleCPU models for both ARM and x86-64 ISAs.
• In addition to the McPAT energy/power estimator, we have implemented a novel complimentary power model for the popular ARM big.LITTLE architecture.
• We have performed an initial analysis and partitioning of the COSSIM simulator, as well as a first mapping of it to the COSSIM (Maxeler) platform.
• MAX has begun to partition and map the ground water CPS simulator to the Maxeler hardware platform (compatible with the Amazon FPGA instance).
• Interfaces were defined for assisting automated security evaluation of CPS systems within COSSIM enabling white box based fuzz testing of processing nodes, and testing the robustness and resilience of CPS networks against DoS attacks, modeling most of the possible aspects of these attacks.
• A first prototype was implemented of the security toolset, and later this first increment was integrated with the rest of COSSIM.
• The first increment (low complexity) implementation of the Building Management System (BMS) and Mobile Visual Search (MVS) test-case applications has been successfully completed

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Expected Progress beyond the state of the art

The overall ambition of the COSSIM project is to create the first known system that:
1. Simulates at a cycle accurate level the executable(s) in the processing nodes of a CPS and the actual network interconnecting the CPS nodes.
2. Provides significantly more accurate power/energy estimations than any existing system.
3. Supports and simulates certain security features of the overall CPS.
4. It is significantly faster than existing systems providing also more features.

COSSIM is expected to trigger a significant impact in the area of CPS, as the toolset developed in the context of the project will allow for the simulation of complete CPS with much higher accuracy than the existing systems. Furthermore, COSSIM will offer for the first time support for testing security aspects of a CPS at the simulation level, thus allowing for the creation of CPS platforms with high built-in security. On top of that, COSSIM is also expected to have significant contributions in the field of High-Performance Systems through the parallel platform that it develops in order to accelerate the overall process of CPS simulation.
As such, COSSIM will be able to provide a CPS simulation framework that will appeal to all European companies and research centers working in the CPS field and will contribute towards the increase of the Europe’s market share in the area of ICT systems since it will heavily shorten the so important time-to-market for the European companies utilizing it. Additionally, European efforts on providing digital systems and computing infrastructure can benefit by the dissemination of the research work on hardware-accelerated systems that COSSIM will provide. Last but not least, European citizens are expected to benefit from the indirect results of the project: COSSIM will enable the deployment of CPS systems that are better tested, less costly and more secure.

Related information

Record Number: 190367 / Last updated on: 2016-11-15
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