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Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
  • Publication
    The AMASS approach for assurance and certification of critical systems
    (Embedded world, 2019-02-26) Vara González, José Luis de la; Ruiz, Alejandra; Gallina, Bárbara; Blondelle, Gael; Alaña, Elena; Herrero, Javier; Warg, Fredrik; Skoglund, Martin; Bramberger, Robert; European Commission; Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (España)
    Safety-critical systems are subject to rigorous assurance and certification processes to guarantee that they do not pose unreasonable risks to people, property, or the environment. The associated activities are usually complex and time-consuming, thus they need adequate support for their execution. The activities are further becoming more challenging as the systems are evolving towards open, interconnected systems with new features, e.g. Internet connectivity, and new assurance needs, e.g. compliance with several assurance standards for different dependability attributes. This requires the development of novel approaches for cost-effective assurance and certification. With the overall goal of lowering assurance and certification costs in face of rapidly changing features and market needs, the AMASS project has created and consolidated the de-facto European-wide open solution for assurance and certification of critical systems. This has been achieved by establishing a novel holistic and reuse-oriented approach for architecture-driven assurance, multi-concern assurance, and for seamless interoperability between assurance and engineering activities along with third-party activities. This paper introduces the main elements of the AMASS approach and how to use them and benefit from them.
  • Publication
    Assessment of the Quality of Safety Cases: A Research Preview
    (Springer, 2019-03-18) Vara González, José Luis de la; Jimenez, Gabriel; Mendieta Zuniga, Roy Arturo; Parra Corredor, Eugenio; Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (España); European Commission
    [Context and motivation] Safety-critical systems in application domains such as aerospace, automotive, healthcare, and railway are subject to assurance processes to provide confidence that the systems do not pose undue risks to people, property, or the environment. The development of safety cases is usually part of these processes to justify that a system satisfies its safety requirements and thus is dependable. [Question/problem] Although safety cases have been used in industry for over two decades, their management still requires improvement. Important weaknesses have been identified and means to assess the quality of safety cases are limited. [Principal ideas/results] This paper presents a research preview on the assessment of the quality of safety cases. We explain how the area should develop and present our preliminary work towards enabling the assessment with Verification Studio, an industrial tool for system artefact quality analysis. [Contribution] The insights provided allow researchers and practitioners to gain an understanding of why safety case quality requires further investigation, what aspects must be considered, and how quality assessment could be performed in practice.
  • Publication
    Analysis of requirements quality evolution
    (ACM, 2018-05-27) Parra Corredor, Eugenio; Vara González, José Luis de la; Alonso, Luis
    A fundamental aspect in the requirements engineering process is to know the quality of a specification, including how the quality evolves over time. This paper introduces an industrial approach for analysis of requirements quality evolution. The approach has been implemented in the System Quality Analyzer tool, exploits quality metrics for requirements correctness, consistency, and completeness, and is based on the storage of quality information in snapshots that are combined and displayed in charts. This can help practitioners to assess the progress and status of a requirements engineering process and to make decisions.
  • Publication
    Recent advances towards the industrial application of model-driven engineering for assurance of safety-critical systems
    (Scitepress, 2018) Vara González, José Luis de la; Ruiz, Alejandra; Espinoza, Huáscar
    Safety-critical systems are typically subject to assurance processes as way to ensure that they do not pose undue risks to people, property, or the environment, usually in compliance with assurance standards. The planning, execution, and management of assurance processes can be a complex activity in practice because of issues in the application of the standards, the large amount of information to handle, and the need for providing convincing justifications of assurance adequacy, among other difficulties. As a solution, many authors have argued that the use of Model-Driven Engineering principles and techniques can facilitate and improve assurance of safety-critical systems. This paper presents some of the latest advances that have been and are being made towards the use of these principles and techniques in industry. Although models have been used for assurance of safety-critical systems for many years, e.g. to specify safety cases, it has only been recently when the full potential of Model-Driven Engineering has started to be more widely exploited. This includes aspects such as the specification of metamodels and domain specific languages for assurance, the extension and application of UML, and the use of model transformations
  • Publication
    An experimental evaluation of the understanding of safety compliance needs with models
    (Springer International Publishing AG, 2017-09) Vara González, José Luis de la; Marín, Beatriz; Ayora, Clara; Giachetti, Giovanni
    Context: Most safety-critical systems have to fulfil compliance needs specified in safety standards. These needs can be difficult to understand from the text of the standards, and the use of conceptual models has been proposed as a solution. Goal: We aim to evaluate the understanding of safety compliance needs with models. Method: We have conducted an experiment to study the effectiveness, efficiency, and perceived benefits in understanding these needs, with text of safety standards and with UML object diagrams. Results: Sixteen Bachelor students participated in the experiment. Their average effectiveness in understanding compliance needs and their average efficiency were higher with models (17% and 15%, respectively). However, the difference is not statistically significant. The students found benefits in using models, but on average they are undecided about their ease of understanding. Conclusions: Although the results are not conclusive enough, they suggest that the use of models could improve the understanding of safety compliance needs.
  • Publication
    Representation of safety standards with semantic technologies used in industrial environments
    (Springer International Publishing AG, 2017-09-12) Vara González, José Luis de la; Gómez, Álvaro; Gallego Palacios, Elena; Génova Fuster, Gonzalo; Fraga Vázquez, Anabel
    Understanding and following safety standards with their text can be difficult. Ambiguity and inconsistency, among other issues, can easily arise. As a solution, several authors argue for the explicit representation of the standards with models, which can be created with semantic technologies such as ontologies. However, this possibility has received little attention. The few authors that have addressed it have also only dealt with a subset of safety standard aspects and have used technologies not usually applied for critical systems engineering. As a first step towards addressing these issues, this position paper presents our initial work on the representation of safety standards with Knowledge Manager, a tool used in industrial environments that exploits semantic technologies to manage domain information. The proposal also builds on prior work on the specification of safety compliance needs with a holistic generic metamodel. We describe how to use Knowledge Manager to specify the concepts and relationships of the metamodel for a given safety standard, and discuss the application and benefits of the corresponding representation.
  • Publication
    Towards Effective SysML Model Reuse
    (Scitepress, 2017-02-19) Mendieta Zuniga, Roy Arturo; Vara González, José Luis de la; Llorens Morillo, Javier; Álvarez Rodríguez, José María
    The Systems Modeling Language (SysML) is spreading very fast. Most modelling tool vendors support it and practitioners have adopted it for Systems Engineering. The number of SysML models is growing, increasing the need for and the potential benefit from platforms that allow a user to reuse the knowledge represented in the models. However, SysML model reuse remains challenging. Each tool has its own implementation of SysML, hindering reuse between tools. The search capabilities of most tools are also very limited and finding reusable models can be difficult. This paper presents our vision and initial work towards enabling an effective reuse of the knowledge contained in SysML models. The proposed solution is based on a universal information representation model called RSHP and on existing technology for indexing and retrieval. The solution has been used to index models of all SysML diagram types and preliminary validated with requirements diagrams. The results from the validation show that the solution has very high precision and recall. This makes us confident that the solution can be a suitable means for effective SysML model reuse.
  • Publication
    Do Models Improve the Understanding of Safety Compliance Needs?: Insights from a Pilot Experiment
    (ACM, 2016-09-08) Vara González, José Luis de la; Marín, Beatriz; Giachetti, Giovanni; Ayora, Clara
    Context. Many critical systems must meet safety compliance needs from safety standards. These standards are usually large textual documents whose compliance needs can be hard to understand. As a solution, the use of models has been proposed. Goal. We aim to provide evidence of the extent to which models improve the understanding of safety compliance needs. Method. We designed an experiment and ran a pilot to study the effectiveness, efficiency, and perceived benefits of understanding these needs, with the text of standards and with models in the form of UML object diagrams. Results. The overall results from 15 Bachelor students show that the effectiveness of understanding safety compliance needs increases very little with models (2%), and the efficiency even decreases (24%). Nonetheless, the results improve when the potential complexity in navigating the models is taken into account (15% effectiveness increase). The students find benefits in using the models but most consider that the models are hard to understand. Conclusions. The extent to which models improve the understanding of safety compliance needs seems to be lower than what the research community expects. New studies are necessary to confirm our initial insights.