Final Technical Report on Quantifying Dependability Attributes of Software Based Safety Critical Instrumentation and Control Systems in Nuclear Power Plants [electronic resource].
- Washington, D.C. : United States. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy, 2016.
Oak Ridge, Tenn. : Distributed by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, U.S. Dept. of Energy
- Physical Description:
- 218 pages : digital, PDF file
- Additional Creators:
- Ohio State University, United States. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy, and United States. Department of Energy. Office of Scientific and Technical Information
- Restrictions on Access:
- Free-to-read Unrestricted online access
- With the current transition from analog to digital instrumentation and control systems in nuclear power plants, the number and variety of software-based systems have significantly increased. The sophisticated nature and increasing complexity of software raises trust in these systems as a significant challenge. The trust placed in a software system is typically termed software dependability. Software dependability analysis faces uncommon challenges since software systems’ characteristics differ from those of hardware systems. The lack of systematic science-based methods for quantifying the dependability attributes in software-based instrumentation as well as control systems in safety critical applications has proved itself to be a significant inhibitor to the expanded use of modern digital technology in the nuclear industry. Dependability refers to the ability of a system to deliver a service that can be trusted. Dependability is commonly considered as a general concept that encompasses different attributes, e.g., reliability, safety, security, availability and maintainability. Dependability research has progressed significantly over the last few decades. For example, various assessment models and/or design approaches have been proposed for software reliability, software availability and software maintainability. Advances have also been made to integrate multiple dependability attributes, e.g., integrating security with other dependability attributes, measuring availability and maintainability, modeling reliability and availability, quantifying reliability and security, exploring the dependencies between security and safety and developing integrated analysis models. However, there is still a lack of understanding of the dependencies between various dependability attributes as a whole and of how such dependencies are formed. To address the need for quantification and give a more objective basis to the review process -- therefore reducing regulatory uncertainty -- measures and methods are needed to assess dependability attributes early on, as well as throughout the life-cycle process of software development. In this research, extensive expert opinion elicitation is used to identify the measures and methods for assessing software dependability. Semi-structured questionnaires were designed to elicit expert knowledge. A new notation system, Causal Mechanism Graphing, was developed to extract and represent such knowledge. The Causal Mechanism Graphs were merged, thus, obtaining the consensus knowledge shared by the domain experts. In this report, we focus on how software contributes to dependability. However, software dependability is not discussed separately from the context of systems or socio-technical systems. Specifically, this report focuses on software dependability, reliability, safety, security, availability, and maintainability. Our research was conducted in the sequence of stages found below. Each stage is further examined in its corresponding chapter. Stage 1 (Chapter 2): Elicitation of causal maps describing the dependencies between dependability attributes. These causal maps were constructed using expert opinion elicitation. This chapter describes the expert opinion elicitation process, the questionnaire design, the causal map construction method and the causal maps obtained. Stage 2 (Chapter 3): Elicitation of the causal map describing the occurrence of the event of interest for each dependability attribute. The causal mechanisms for the “event of interest” were extracted for each of the software dependability attributes. The “event of interest” for a dependability attribute is generally considered to be the “attribute failure”, e.g. security failure. The extraction was based on the analysis of expert elicitation results obtained in Stage 1. Stage 3 (Chapter 4): Identification of relevant measurements. Measures for the “events of interest” and their causal mechanisms were obtained from expert opinion elicitation for...
- Report Numbers:
- E 1.99:doe/osu--0703-0110
- Other Subject(s):
- Published through SciTech Connect.
Carol Smidts; Funqun Huang; Boyuan Li; Xiang Li.
- Type of Report and Period Covered Note:
- Funding Information:
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