Software to help make the world safer by Dr Martin Walker

Date: Tuesday 25 October 2011

Time: 7.45pm after AGM

Location: Room WI-LR13 Wilberforce Building, University of Hull

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Speaker: Dr Martin Walker

Abstract:

The University of Hull has been working with organisations like Volvo, Fiat, Toyota and Continental on world-leading solutions to improve reliability in automobiles. This work has resulted in a safety analysis tool called HiP-HOPS, which helps companies in this field implement new safety standards, such as ISO 26262.

Safety analysis - and the wider field of reliability engineering - is becoming ever more important as our reliance on increasingly complex machines and systems grows. This has led to the development of an arsenal of techniques to estimate and improve the safety and reliability of such systems. However, as we design things to become more robust and resilient to failure, it also becomes harder to model and understand their behaviour. In particular, dynamic systems - such as those which can change or adapt to failures during operation - are especially difficult to model using existing techniques.

This talk will introduce some of the concepts and problems involved in reliability engineering and will also present the HiP-HOPS safety analysis tool, developed by the University. HiP-HOPS has been developed in close cooperation with industry and has been influential in the development of new modelling languages and safety methodologies. It is also one of the few developments in the field that addresses new safety standards (like ISO 26262) and is thus of increasing commercial interest.

The talk will go on to describe the difficulties in modelling dynamic systems with classical dependability analysis approaches and will propose a novel potential solution involving a new temporal logic called Pandora, which extends Boolean logic to enable the modelling and analysis of sequences. Pandora is a fundamental approach that allows more meaningful qualitative analysis of dynamic systems, but it also presents some interesting challenges of its own.

Speaker: Dr Martin Walker is a lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Hull and one of the co-developers of the HiP-HOPS technology. He has worked in a number of European projects on safety, including SAFEDOR (focusing on the maritime industry) as well as ATESST2and MAENAD (both in the automotive industry), where he contributed to the design of the EAST-ADL architectural description language. He has published a number of papers on HiP-HOPS and reliability engineering and his work on Pandora was nominated for the BCS Distinguished Dissertation award.