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Measuring reuse in hazard analysis.

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  • Computer Science


Hazard analysis for safety-critical systems require sufficient coverage and rigour to instill confidence that the majority of hazardous consequences have been identified. These requirements are commonly met through the use of exhaustive hazard analysis techniques. However, such techniques are time consuming and error-prone. As an attempt at exhaustive coverage, hazard analysts typically employ reuse mechanisms such as copy-and-paste. Unfortunately, if reuse is applied inappropriately there is a risk that the reuse is at the cost of rigour in the analysis. This potential risk to the validity of the analysis is dependent on the nature and amount of reuse applied. This paper investigates hazard analysis reuse over two case studies. Initially reuse in an existing safety argument is described. Argument structures within the hazard analysis are identified and the amount of verbatim reuse examined. A second study is concerned with how reuse changes as a result of tool support. In contrast to the first case, the defined arguments are more diverse—reuse has occurred but is less verbatim in nature. Although tool support has aided the customisation of the reused arguments, many are only trivially customised. An edit distance algorithm is utilised to identify and enumerate verbatim and trivial reuse in the arguments.

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