Selected Publications

by Alastair Faulkner and Mark Nicholson

Data Centric - the Sixth Age of Safety:
Communications Enabled Transition from Function to Service

Authors: Mark Nicholson and Alastair Faulkner
Publisher: IET System Safety and Cyber Security Conference
Year: 2016
Volume: Proceedings of the IET System Safety and Cyber Security Conference, London, UK.
ISBN:

Abstract

Early applications of system safety focused on analysis resulting in the identification of the risks associated with functional failure, and attribution of integrity requirements to functions. Limitations in early software systems restricted their application to small-scale protection systems. Subsequent developments have seen such systems grow in scope, scale and complexity, not only in the application but also the interconnected nature of the application domain. This interconnected domain extends consideration of (safety) function, to flow, and from flow, to service.

In this paper, we revisit discussions about how to address socio-technical systems through the ‘Ages of Safety’ structure, originally identified by Hale and Hovden (1998) and extended by many authors. This allows us to propose the sixth age of safety: the Data Centric Age to address functions, flows and services.

The XYZ of Data Safety

Authors: Alastair Faulkner and Mark Nicholson
Publisher: IET System Safety and Cyber Security Conference
Year: 2016
Volume: Proceedings of the IET System Safety and Cyber Security Conference, London, UK.
ISBN:

Abstract

Safety Management has matured from simple process-based arguments to become hazard-focused and proactive. The adoption of Goal Structuring Notation and ‘product line’ safety arguments means that products comprise multiple constituents in several axis. Data is now ubiquitous in the development, operation and assurance of products. This paper, therefore, explores data safety in the form of a three-axis model. A process that uses this model is discussed. Model validation is by reference to existing safety and assurance models and case studies.

An Assessment Framework for Data-Centric Systems

Authors: Alastair Faulkner and Mark Nicholson
Publisher: Safety Critical Systems Club
Year: 2014
Volume: Proceedings of the Twenty-Second Safety-Critical Systems Symposium, Brighton, UK. Edited by Chris Dale and Tom Anderson
ISBN: 978-1491263648

Abstract

Standardisation, organisation and control have brought economic benefits through the application of computer based systems to large governmental, industrial and retail organisations. These benefits are also being sought from areas and organisations with a safety related context. Typically these systems employ standardised applications and large volumes of data. Such data represents individuals, system elements, their relationships and histories. Application areas span health care provision to transportation, welfare to governmental policy. In these systems it is often unclear how data errors influence the overall system behaviour or individual system outcomes.

This paper provides a framework to classify the use (and reuse) of data within such systems. In addition this paper seeks to identify the ‘barriers to escalation’ that would mitigate the influence of data errors on system safety and restrict their propagation across the connected systems

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