An “As Desired” Model of the Software Safety Assurance Lifecycle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Recognised good practice for software safety assurance in safety-critical domains has been established in standards, and other guidance and literature. Anecdotally, this knowledge is not being transferred into the state of practice. Potentially, there are many reasons for this disparity, and it is likely that socio-technical impediments will have a large impact. To investigate the mismatch between theory and practice for software safety assurance, we have embarked on an empirical study. This study requires that we model safety assurance work as desired (the state of the art), the work as described (organisational processes) and the work as done (what engineers actually do in practice). Based on the results of this study, we will make recommendations to overcome the identified impediments to the adoption of good practice for software safety assurance. In this paper we address in detail the first aspect of this empirical study by describing a model of the state of the art based on analysis of selected open standards. We also briefly discuss methods that will be adopted to empirically evaluate industrial work as described, and work as done.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSafety Critical Systems Symposium (SSS '21)
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2021

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