OSLC-based Support for Integrated Development of Dependable Systems

Engineering of dependable systems is an inherently heterogenous field and involves the use of a wide range of techniques to analyse different aspects of the system behaviour and properties. Various standards typically prescribe a set of techniques to be used and a development process that should be followed to achieve a high degree of dependability and demonstrate it during certification. In this paper, we address the problem of building integrated environments that implement the processes required for engineering dependable systems. We discuss the use of OSLC (Open Services for Lifecycle Collaborations) – a rapidly developing industry-driven standard as a technological platform for such integration and present our ongoing work on building an integrated environment for formal development of dependable systems. Our prototype environment spans over requirements engineering, formal modelling and verification in Event-B as well as safety case construction.

Development of dependable systems is an engineering field that is heavily regulated by standards. Though standards are often criticised for their rigidness, they nevertheless capture the best practices and define recommendations based on decades of experience in engineering and operation of dependable systems. The majority of modern standards adopt process-oriented approaches to dependability assurance, i.e., they prescribe a set of methods and tools to be used to achieve dependability and demonstrate it during certification.

Let us note that, despite differences in details, the majority of dependability-related standards focus on enforcing comple-mentarity and diversity in system development. Indeed, they aim at ensuring that there are not gaps in the analysis of the system behaviour in both nominal and off-nominal situations, failure analysis is complete, and several diverse layers of protection are built to break the chain of error propagation.

Diversity and complementarity are enforced at both development process and system design levels. For instance, a development process typically complements fault avoidance with fault tolerance and fault removal; diversity is also employed in designing software and hardware to mitigate a risk of common cause failures. To follow the recommendations prescribed by standards and ensure that diversity and complementarity are properly implemented, the developers should be able to build integrated engineering environments that establish a correct and efficient flow of information within the development process.

The development process generates a large amount of heterogeneous information – requirements, models, designs, tests, documentations, safety cases, etc. Obviously, to efficiently handle it, we need to provide the engineers with an automated support that establishes common information space, supports an efficient dynamic information flow and enables seamless integration of diverse tools. In this paper, we argue that OSLC provides us with a suitable technology to achieve these goals.

Alexei Iliasov, Alexander B. Romanovsky (University of Newcastle upon Tyne),  Linas Laibinis, Elena Troubitsyna (Åbo Akademi University): OSLC-based Support for Integrated Development of Dependable Systems


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