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A growing number of industrial systems are interactive and hence depend on the joint functioning of men and machines to achieve their purpose. Assessing the reliability of such systems presents a methodological problem for two reasons. Firstly, people and machines function in different ways; it is not reasonable therefore to assume that the same methods can be applied in both cases. Secondly, the reliability of the joint system depends as much upon the interaction as upon the characteristics of the components; methods are needed therefore which can address the interaction in an adequate way. The established approach to reliability assessment is based on static point-to-point analyses. A number of these are characterised in this paper. This approach is warranted for certain engineering systems but is quite inadequate for the assessment of human reliability and for evaluating the effects of the interaction. The alternative is to use dynamic, whole-mode analyses. The principles of this approach are defined; the solution requires the use of system simulators to capture the dynamics of man-machine interaction. This tradition has been established by the work on the DYLAM system at the JRC Ispra, and is continued and significantly extended in the System Response Generator (SRG) project.

Additional information

Authors: CACCIABUE P C, JRC Ispra (IT);HOLLNAGEL E, Computer Resources International, Space Division, BirkerÝd (DK)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: European Safety & Reliability Conference, Copenhagen (DK), June 9-11, 1992
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 36742 ORA
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