Specification and use of component failure patterns

Wolforth, Ian Philip

Computer science
May 2010

Thesis or dissertation

© 2010 Ian Philip Wolforth. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

Safety-critical systems are typically assessed for their adherence to specified safety properties. They are studied down to the component-level to identify root causes of any hazardous failures. Most recent work with model-based safety analysis has focused on improving system modelling techniques and the algorithms used for automatic analyses of failure models. However, few developments have been made to improve the scope of reusable analysis elements within these techniques. The failure behaviour of components in these techniques is typically specified in such a way that limits the applicability of such specifications across applications. The thesis argues that allowing more general expressions of failure behaviour, identifiable patterns of failure behaviour for use within safety analyses could be specified and reused across systems and applications where the conditions that allow such reuse are present.This thesis presents a novel Generalised Failure Language (GFL) for the specification and use of component failure patterns. Current model-based safety analysis methods are investigated to examine the scope and the limits of achievable reuse within their analyses. One method, HiP-HOPS, is extended to demonstrate the application of GFL and the use of component failure patterns in the context of automated safety analysis. A managed approach to performing reuse is developed alongside the GFL to create a method for more concise and efficient safety analysis. The method is then applied to a simplified fuel supply and a vehicle braking system, as well as on a set of legacy models that have previously been analysed using classical HiP-HOPS. The proposed GFL method is finally compared against the classical HiP-HOPS, and in the light of this study the benefits and limitations of this approach are discussed in the conclusions.

Department of Computer Science, The University of Hull
Papadopoulos, Yiannis
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