Re: [SystemSafety] Meta

From: Peter Bernard Ladkin < >
Date: Tue, 09 Dec 2014 05:10:17 +0100

On 2014-12-09 03:06 , Les Chambers wrote:

> Hazard meta data seems like an obvious idea.

Yes, it does.

Two points.

First, harmonisation of vocabulary. Developing a quasi-XML tag set as you suggested depends upon attaining general agreement upon vocabulary. I can tell you first hand that there will be a lot of work involved in that, and many of my colleagues with whom I have discussed the matter are sceptical that it is organisationally possible.

What might have more chance is a plethora of different conceptual definitions, along with intertranslations.

We have one project, called SmartTerms, running from October 2013 to end September 2015, which attempts to capture the vocabulary currently being used for "new" electrotechnical domains and perform Def-Use analysis amongst the terms, and suggest a harmonised standard vocabulary. In Germany, these "new domains" are currently "Smart Grid", "Smart Cities", "Smart Homes and Buildings", "EMobility", and "Industrie 4.0". EMobility is electric road vehicles; Industrie 4.0 is robotic factory automation). We have been working with colleagues in standardisation (on both national and international levels) to achieve a similar harmonisation wrt Safety and Security, in particular for critical infrastructure, and we are currently preparing a project proposal. As I said, many colleagues are sceptical that such an effort can bear much fruit, but it does seem worth trying systematically.

Second, you don't just need hazards, you need possible consequences and possible sources, because talk of what a hazard is without having any idea of the possible deleterious consequences is pointless (how would you even tell it's hazard?), and talk of what a hazard is without suggesting how it can have come about is not very useful. Call it qualitative abstract risk analysis, or QARA (nice Australian-sounding word).

Causalis has a means of doing it, called Causal Failure Analysis, and a visual depiction of the results, called a Causal Fault Graph. CFA and CFG can be as specific or as general as you like - the level of detail is up to you. Causalis has used CFA and CFG successfully to fulfil the needs of clients (given the competition, success is all but guaranteed!). The CFG is depicted on screen/printout using Graphviz, dot in particular, and the specification language is CausalML, developed a decade ago jointly with our partners in IfEV at TU Braunschweig and at Siemens Rail Automation, and more recently by my Uni group RVS alone. So CausalML suffices for the task.

PBL Prof. Peter Bernard Ladkin, Faculty of Technology, University of Bielefeld, 33594 Bielefeld, Germany Tel+msg +49 (0)521 880 7319

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