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Technical Paper

An Integrated Approach to Requirements Development and Hazard Analysis

The introduction of new safety critical features using software-intensive systems presents a growing challenge to hazard analysis and requirements development. These systems are rich in feature content and can interact with other vehicle systems in complex ways, making the early development of proper requirements critical. Catching potential problems as early as possible is essential because the cost increases exponentially the longer problems remain undetected. However, in practice these problems are often subtle and can remain undetected until integration, testing, production, or even later, when the cost of fixing them is the highest. In this paper, a new technique is demonstrated to perform a hazard analysis in parallel with system and requirements development. The proposed model-based technique begins during early development when design uncertainty is highest and is refined iteratively as development progresses to drive the requirements and necessary design features.
Journal Article

Safety Assessment of Complex, Software-Intensive Systems

This paper presents a new methodology for the safety assessment of complex software intensive systems such as is envisioned for the coming major upgrade of the air traffic management system known as NextGen. This methodology is based on a new, more inclusive model of accident causation called Systems Theoretic Accident Model and Process (STAMP) [1]. STAMP includes not just the standard component failure mechanisms but also the new ways that software and humans contribute to accidents in complex systems. A new hazard analysis method, called Systems Theoretic Process Analysis (STPA), is built on this theoretical foundation. The STPA is based on systems theory rather than reliability theory; it treats safety as a control problem rather than a failure problem with interactive and possibly nested control loops that may include humans. In this methodology, safety is assured by closed loop control of safety parameters.