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Assurance cases and prescriptive software safety certification: a comparative study

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Assurance cases and prescriptive software safety certification : a comparative study. / Hawkins, Richard David; Habli, Ibrahim; Kelly, Tim; McDermid, John Alexander.

In: Safety science, Vol. 59, No. n/a, 11.2013, p. 55-71.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Harvard

Hawkins, RD, Habli, I, Kelly, T & McDermid, JA 2013, 'Assurance cases and prescriptive software safety certification: a comparative study', Safety science, vol. 59, no. n/a, pp. 55-71. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2013.04.007

APA

Hawkins, R. D., Habli, I., Kelly, T., & McDermid, J. A. (2013). Assurance cases and prescriptive software safety certification: a comparative study. Safety science, 59(n/a), 55-71. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2013.04.007

Vancouver

Hawkins RD, Habli I, Kelly T, McDermid JA. Assurance cases and prescriptive software safety certification: a comparative study. Safety science. 2013 Nov;59(n/a):55-71. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2013.04.007

Author

Hawkins, Richard David ; Habli, Ibrahim ; Kelly, Tim ; McDermid, John Alexander. / Assurance cases and prescriptive software safety certification : a comparative study. In: Safety science. 2013 ; Vol. 59, No. n/a. pp. 55-71.

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@article{ba7a581e911e4282827c0c167730270c,
title = "Assurance cases and prescriptive software safety certification: a comparative study",
abstract = "In safety–critical applications, it is necessary to justify, prior to deployment, why software behaviour is tobe trusted. This is normally referred to as software safety assurance. Within certification standards,developers demonstrate this by appealing to the satisfaction of objectives that the safety assurance standardsrequire for compliance. In some standards the objectives can be very detailed in nature, prescribingspecific processes and techniques that must be followed. This approach to certification is often describedas prescriptive or process-based certification. Other standards set out much more high-level objectivesand are less prescriptive about the particular processes and techniques to be used. These standardsinstead explicitly require the submission of an assurance argument which communicates how evidence,generated during development (for example from testing, analysis and review) satisfies claims concerningthe safety of the software. There has been much debate surrounding the relative merits of prescriptiveand safety assurance argument approaches to certification. In many ways this debate can lead to confusion.There can in fact be seen to be a role for both approaches in a successful software assurance regime.In this paper, we provide a comparative examination of these two approaches, and seek to identify therelative merits of each. We first introduce the concepts of assurance cases and prescriptive softwareassurance. We describe how an assurance case could be generated for the software of an aircraft wheelbraking system. We then describe how prescriptive certification guidelines could be used in order to gainassurance in the same system. Finally, we compare the results of the two approaches and explain howthese approaches may complement each other. This comparison highlights the crucial role that an assuranceargument can play in explaining and justifying how the software evidence supports the assuranceargument, even when a prescriptive safety standard is being followed.",
author = "Hawkins, {Richard David} and Ibrahim Habli and Tim Kelly and McDermid, {John Alexander}",
year = "2013",
month = nov,
doi = "10.1016/j.ssci.2013.04.007",
language = "English",
volume = "59",
pages = "55--71",
journal = "Safety science",
issn = "0925-7535",
publisher = "Elsevier",
number = "n/a",

}

RIS (suitable for import to EndNote) - Download

TY - JOUR

T1 - Assurance cases and prescriptive software safety certification

T2 - a comparative study

AU - Hawkins, Richard David

AU - Habli, Ibrahim

AU - Kelly, Tim

AU - McDermid, John Alexander

PY - 2013/11

Y1 - 2013/11

N2 - In safety–critical applications, it is necessary to justify, prior to deployment, why software behaviour is tobe trusted. This is normally referred to as software safety assurance. Within certification standards,developers demonstrate this by appealing to the satisfaction of objectives that the safety assurance standardsrequire for compliance. In some standards the objectives can be very detailed in nature, prescribingspecific processes and techniques that must be followed. This approach to certification is often describedas prescriptive or process-based certification. Other standards set out much more high-level objectivesand are less prescriptive about the particular processes and techniques to be used. These standardsinstead explicitly require the submission of an assurance argument which communicates how evidence,generated during development (for example from testing, analysis and review) satisfies claims concerningthe safety of the software. There has been much debate surrounding the relative merits of prescriptiveand safety assurance argument approaches to certification. In many ways this debate can lead to confusion.There can in fact be seen to be a role for both approaches in a successful software assurance regime.In this paper, we provide a comparative examination of these two approaches, and seek to identify therelative merits of each. We first introduce the concepts of assurance cases and prescriptive softwareassurance. We describe how an assurance case could be generated for the software of an aircraft wheelbraking system. We then describe how prescriptive certification guidelines could be used in order to gainassurance in the same system. Finally, we compare the results of the two approaches and explain howthese approaches may complement each other. This comparison highlights the crucial role that an assuranceargument can play in explaining and justifying how the software evidence supports the assuranceargument, even when a prescriptive safety standard is being followed.

AB - In safety–critical applications, it is necessary to justify, prior to deployment, why software behaviour is tobe trusted. This is normally referred to as software safety assurance. Within certification standards,developers demonstrate this by appealing to the satisfaction of objectives that the safety assurance standardsrequire for compliance. In some standards the objectives can be very detailed in nature, prescribingspecific processes and techniques that must be followed. This approach to certification is often describedas prescriptive or process-based certification. Other standards set out much more high-level objectivesand are less prescriptive about the particular processes and techniques to be used. These standardsinstead explicitly require the submission of an assurance argument which communicates how evidence,generated during development (for example from testing, analysis and review) satisfies claims concerningthe safety of the software. There has been much debate surrounding the relative merits of prescriptiveand safety assurance argument approaches to certification. In many ways this debate can lead to confusion.There can in fact be seen to be a role for both approaches in a successful software assurance regime.In this paper, we provide a comparative examination of these two approaches, and seek to identify therelative merits of each. We first introduce the concepts of assurance cases and prescriptive softwareassurance. We describe how an assurance case could be generated for the software of an aircraft wheelbraking system. We then describe how prescriptive certification guidelines could be used in order to gainassurance in the same system. Finally, we compare the results of the two approaches and explain howthese approaches may complement each other. This comparison highlights the crucial role that an assuranceargument can play in explaining and justifying how the software evidence supports the assuranceargument, even when a prescriptive safety standard is being followed.

U2 - 10.1016/j.ssci.2013.04.007

DO - 10.1016/j.ssci.2013.04.007

M3 - Article

VL - 59

SP - 55

EP - 71

JO - Safety science

JF - Safety science

SN - 0925-7535

IS - n/a

ER -