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DustExpert

A paper on the development of DUST-EXPERT is available here.

Against competition from major software houses, we were awarded a contract by the Health and Safety Executive to develop a safety-related knowledge-based system, running on PCs under Microsoft Windows 3.1/95/NT, to advise on the construction of vessels that contain potentially explosive dusts. The system, which is called DUST-EXPERT, includes: decision trees on venting, suppression, containment, inerting and exclusion of ignition sources, which enable users to select the best approach to dealing with potential dust explosions; several methods for calculating the size of vents to limit the pressure rise in the event of a dust explosion; and context-sensitive, hypertext help covering precaution techniques, explosion violence factors, explosibility tests, and using the system.

A full Safety Case was produced to justify the development. This is based on: a formal specification using the Vienna Development Method (VDM); hand proofs of safety properties on the VDM specification; execution of the VDM specification using the IFAD Toolbox; implementation in LPA Prolog; and a statistically significant quantity of testing of the integrated system.



DUST-EXPERT is an industrial application of formal methods to a safety related advisory system

The UK Health and Safety Executive announced world-wide sales of the Dust Expert product in June 1997.