The PERFORM Performability Engineering Research Group at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign conducts research in the design and validation of dependable and secure networked systems. Such systems often have requirements for high performance, dependability, and security, and these goals may contradict one another. By providing a unified method to validate system performance, dependability, and security during the entire design process, the group develops and applies sound engineering principles to large-scale system design.

PERFORMers in a meetingThe hallmark attribute of the PERFORM group is that it takes fundamental approaches to real-world applications. Its research is impacting the way critical infrastructures such as power grids are designed. For example, PERFORMers were active participants in the work of the recently concluded Trustworthy Cyber Infrastructure for the Power Grid (TCIPG) Center (which was led by PERFORM director William H. Sanders), and have been collaborating on trusted software research with the Boeing Company.

One major way in which the group impacts the real world is through development of several engineering modeling and design tools that are applied to realistic engineering problems. In particular, PERFORM has designed, developed, and distributed the advanced modeling, analysis, and simulation environment UltraSAN and its successor Möbius™. Over 2,700 licenses for UltraSAN and Möbius have been issued to universities for research and graduate instruction, and the tools have also been licensed for commercial use to several companies. Möbius is available free for academic use, and information on how to obtain it is available at this site. It is also available for commercial use. Another major software tool under development in PERFORM is the NetAPT Network Access Policy Tool, which performs a comprehensive security policy analysis to identify the deviation of an implementation from global access policy.

The PERFORM group was founded by its director, Prof. William H. Sanders, in 1994. See the PERFORM research page for information on current projects.