Adelard was a significant contributor to a study commissioned by the UK Health Foundation in 2012 that produced a comprehensive review of the use of safety cases in industry, aiming to determine how healthcare in the UK could use safety cases in the future.
The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recently commissioned research from Adelard into how pre-existing software components may be safely used in safety-related programmable electronic systems in a way that complies with the IEC 61508 standard. Two reports resulted from this work and are now published on the HSE web site:
The first report summarises the evidence that is likely to be available in practice relating to a software component to assist in assessing the safety integrity of a safety function that depends on that component.
The second report considers how the available evidence can best be used within the framework of the IEC 61508 safety lifecycle to support an argument for the safety integrity achieved by a safety function.
Whilst these reports are the opinions of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy, HSE offers this work as an illustration of a principled approach to:
gathering evidence on the performance of pre-existing software components;
applying that evidence within the IEC 61508 framework; and
constructing a systematic and transparent argument for the safety integrity of a specified safety function.
HSE proposes to issue guidance on good practice in the use of software components in safety-related systems. HSE invites comments on the practicality and effectiveness of the recommended approach to achieving the above three goals, and on any other significant aspect of the safety integrity of software components that is not addressed by this work.
Please send your comments to:
Dr E Fergus: email@example.com Technology Division Electrical and Control Systems Magdalen House Stanley Precinct Bootle Mersey side L20 3QZ
The application of formal methods has a long history but they have not been substantially adopted by the software engineering community at large. To gain a perspective of what is working and what is not in the formal methods area we have reviewed their use by industry and the results of past R&D programmes. The objective is to identify crucial factors leading to the success or failure of the application of formal methods and in doing so provide a perspective on the current formal methods landscape. The overall aim is to inform future formal methods dissemination activities and other initiatives.
This report is a draft that has been produced under contract for the Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (BSI) - the German federal agency for information security. It currently lacks details of the formal methods landscape in Germany that will be added by our sponsors in the final version of the report.
The report was produced by Adelard in collaboration with Dan Craigen from ORA Canada.