PNYKA: Research and Development of and Electronic Voting System based on Formal Methods for Risk Assessment and Management focusing on Public Trust
Electronic voting (eVoting) and more specifically the ability of practising one’s electoral right from a distance, constitutes an important innovation in the scope of electronic government (eGovernment) that is expected to increase citizen’s participation in the electoral processes. However, a basic precondition for its wide application is the electronic voting systems to gain public confidence.
This particular project PNYKA aimed in the determination and application of an integrated framework for the development of eVoting systems which are based on formal methods of risk assessment and management so as to be faced systematically, by the initial phase of design, all the critical requirements of such a system. Such requirements are user confidence, system security, efficiency, extensibility and the ability of re-using its components in other applications which constitute part of a wider framework of usage of new technologies for the achievement ofοΏ½ electronic governance. This framework focuses on public confidence and coves the whole range of applications of eVoting.
The project was funded by GSRT. RA CTI was the prime contractor of the project. EXPERTNET Advanced Applications S.A. was the business partner while the Technical Chamber of Greece / Department of Western Greece participated as a subcontractor of RA CTI. It was started at 05/2006 and finished at 04/08.
The individual aims of the project were:
- The design and implementation of an electronic voting information system that will be capable to support technically from simple processes of opinion polls up to national elections.
- The application of formal design methods so as to assured the systematic monitoring and control of all the phases of system development process as well as corresponding interventions, where required.
- The design of the system’s components in such a way that they will be rendered and re-usable, under the form of a library.
- The integration of the required degree of confidence in the final system, at the phase of its design as well as at the duration of its operation. This will be based on a trust architecture, which considers trust as an attribute that is progressively been built from the physical layer of the system towards the way that it is presented to the end users.
The final deliverable of the project was a prototype of a complete system to support electronic voting which was developed in two stages. In the first stage, a basic system that is able to support opinion polling and election processes of limited range (e.g. in a controlled environment) was implemented. In the second stage, a set of additional components was integrated in the basic system composing a prototype of a complete system to support a referendum or an election process at national scale.
During project implementation were developed also :
- documentation of the correctness and security of the system based on the application of formal methods,
- a trust model of the system based on a layered architecture as it has been proposed and applied by RA CTI,
- a theoretical (mathematic) model for the evaluation of the system performance in a large scale run and verification of the model through the use of simulation methods,
- a library of the basic system components (library of reusable components) that can constitute discernible and easily reusable operations in different versions of an eVoting system or in other similar systems.