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Diskin, Zinovy, Maibaum, Tom, Wassyng, Alan, Wynn-Williams, Stephen, Lawford, Mark.  2018.  Assurance via Model Transformations and Their Hierarchical Refinement. Proceedings of the 21th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Model Driven Engineering Languages and Systems. :426-436.

Assurance is a demonstration that a complex system (such as a car or a communication network) possesses an importantproperty, such as safety or security, with a high level of confidence. In contrast to currently dominant approaches to building assurance cases, which are focused on goal structuring and/or logical inference, we propose considering assurance as a model transformation (MT) enterprise: saying that a system possesses an assured property amounts to saying that a particular assurance view of the system comprising the assurance data, satisfies acceptance criteria posed as assurance constraints. While the MT realizing this view is very complex, we show that it can be decomposed into elementary MTs via a hierarchy of refinement steps. The transformations at the bottom level are ordinary MTs that can be executed for data specifying the system, thus providing the assurance data to be checked against the assurance constraints. In this way, assurance amounts to traversing the hierarchy from the top to the bottom and assuring the correctness of each MT in the path. Our approach has a precise mathematical foundation (rooted in process algebra and category theory) –- a necessity if we are to model precisely and then analyze our assurance cases. We discuss the practical applicability of the approach, and argue that it has several advantages over existing approaches.