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State/event fault trees - safety analysis model for software-controlled systems

: Kaiser, Bernhard; Gramlich, Catharina; Förster, Marc


Reliability engineering & system safety 92 (2007), Nr.11, S.1521-1537
ISSN: 0951-8320
Fraunhofer IESE ()
safety analysis; reliability analysis; Fault Tree Analysis (FTA); State Event Fault Tree (SEFT); embedded system

Safety models for software-controlled systems should be intuitive, compositional and have the expressive power to model both software and hardware behaviour. Moreover, they should provide quantitative results for failure or hazard probabilities. Fault trees are an accepted and intuitive model for safety analysis, but they are incapable of expressing state dependencies or temporal order of events. We propose to combine fault trees with an explicit State/Event semantics, using a graphical notation that is similar to Statecharts. Our new model, named State/Event Fault Trees (SEFTs), subsumes both deterministic state machines suited to describe software behaviour, and Markov chains that model probabilistic failures, while keeping the visualisation of causal chains known from fault trees. We allow exponentially distributed probabilistic events, deterministic delays, and triggered events. The model provides a component concept, where components are connected by typed ports. Quantitative evaluation is achieved by translating the component models to Deterministic and Stochastic Petri Nets (DSPNs) and using an existing tool for analysis or simulation. This paper, which is an extended version of [Kaiser B, Gramlich C. State-Event-Fault-Trees - a safety analysis model for software controlled systems. Computer safety, reliability, and security. Proceedings of the 23rd international conference, SAFECOMP 2004, Potsdam, Germany, September 21st-24th. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 3219, 2004.p. 195-209], revisits the model elements and the analysis procedure and provides a small case study of a fire alarm system, completed by an outlook on our tool project ESSaRel.