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An Ontological Approach to Identify the Causes of Hazards for Safety-Critical Systems
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Embedded Systems.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2615-6842
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Embedded Systems.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0757-822X
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Embedded Systems.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0904-3712
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Embedded Systems.
2017 (English)In: 2017 2nd International Conference on System Reliability and Safety ICSRS'17, 2017, p. 405-413Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Preliminary hazard analysis (PHA) is a key safety-concerned technique, applied in early stages of safety critical systems development, aiming to provide stakeholders with a general understanding of potential hazards together with their causes. Various studies have asserted that most significant flaws in hazard analysis techniques are related to the omission of causes associated with the identified hazards. In addition, identified causes are sometimes described in too generic terms to provide useful guidance for subsequent activities. In this paper, we propose an approach to explore and identify the causes associated with the hazards from a PHA, aiming to improve the results of hazard causes identification in terms of completeness and usefulness. To achieve the goal, the proposed approach utilizes the hazard-related concepts and relations defined in a hazard domain ontology presented in our previous work. Furthermore, an application scenario of a train control system is used to evaluate our approach.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. p. 405-413
National Category
Computer Systems
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-37069DOI: 10.1109/ICSRS.2017.8272856ISI: 000426453100069ISBN: 978-1-5386-3322-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-37069DiVA, id: diva2:1153838
Conference
2017 2nd International Conference on System Reliability and Safety ICSRS'17, 20 Dec 2017, Milan, Italy
Projects
DPAC - Dependable Platforms for Autonomous systems and Control
Available from: 2017-10-31 Created: 2017-10-31 Last updated: 2018-03-22Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. An Ontological Approach to Safety Analysis of Safety-Critical Systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An Ontological Approach to Safety Analysis of Safety-Critical Systems
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Safety-critical systems (SCSs) have become an intrinsic part of human dailylife in multiple domains, such as automotive, avionics, and rail industries. Such systems are not only required to implement the functionality they should provide, but also have to satisfy a set of safety requirements in order to ensure the mitigation of hazardous consequences.

It is fundamental that safety requirements are defined based on the results issued from safety analysis. Various studies have asserted that most significant flaws in the safety requirements are related to the omission of hazards and causes associated with the identified hazards in early stages of SCSs development. The main drawbacks of the current practice applied in safety analysis,lie in that:

due to the lack of a common understanding of the hazard concept, the hazards and their causes are typically identified in accordance to the intuition and experience of the analysts and,

analysts are inclined to identify generic causes for a certain hazard description, for example, “Design flaw, Coding error, and Human error”and,

there is an essential need to formalize the experience of the analysts in a structured way, in order to save effort and,

since traditional safety analysis techniques are usually based on well known system behaviors represented by models, such as automata and sequence diagrams, a new approach is needed when such behavioral models are not available.

These considerations motivate us to formulate the following general research question: How can safety analysis, within the context of safety-critical systems, be conducted to reduce the omission of potential hazards and their causes in early stages of the system development life-cycle?

In this thesis, we propose an ontological approach to safety analysis for safety-critical systems, which mainly consists of four pieces of work:

we propose an ontological interpretation of the hazard concept, calledthe Hazard Ontology (HO), to define an explicit representation of theknowledge of hazards and their relations with the system under analysisand existing environment and,

we propose an approach to identify hazards in early stages of thesafety-critical systems development, based on the HO and,

we propose an approach to identify the causes associated with a certain hazard description for safety-critical systems, based on the HO and,

we propose a heuristic approach to safety requirements elicitation,based on the HO.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University, 2017
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 251
Keyword
hazard analysis, ontologies, safety-critical systems, safety requirements elicitation
National Category
Embedded Systems
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-37386 (URN)978-91-7485-371-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-01-12, Delta, Mälardalens högskola, Västerås, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
DPAC
Available from: 2017-12-08 Created: 2017-12-08 Last updated: 2017-12-20Bibliographically approved

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Zhou, JialeHänninen, KajLundqvist, Kristina

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