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Substantiating the safety of systems containing knowledge based components


Many results have been acquired over the last few years in the design, development, test, verification and validation of KB systems. But these results have not been systematically taken into consideration from the operating safety and quality aspects. This is due to the wide cultural difference between those who use knowledge-based systems, those who develop them, and those responsible for safety, certification and software quality.

The overall objective of Safe-KBS is to demonstrate the feasibility of extending knowledge based systems (KBS) markets to safety critical systems, by providing means of developing the KB components of safety critical systems, and guaranteeing the quality of these KB components, as required for the certification of these systems. The project will be based on requirements resulting from three real-size applications in the domains of air crew decision aid, nuclear energy production and sea transportation. The project aims at producing usable results tested via the partial re-engineering and simulated certification of the first two.
The project objective will be satisfied in three phases:

- Analysis of operating safety on a set of representative functions (for each of the three applications).
- Development of a suitable methodology (building, among others, on Common KADS) to control the identified risk, taking into account the adaptation of this methodology to the existing base of development tools, and the definition of complementary tools.
- Partial simulation of the certification process for these applications, applying the methodology and the tooling base (for the air crew decision aid application and the nuclear energy production application).

The main results will be:

- A methodology for developing high quality KB components embedded in safety critical systems.
- The definition of support tools for practical application of this methodology.
- Certification criteria and procedures.

The project will achieve a compromise between the dual aims of genericity (bottom-up approach, from domain specific level towards generic level) and specificity (top-down approach, from generic level to domain specific level), thanks to an approach based on the "analyse - define - assess - revise" cycle.

The consortium for the Safe-KBS project, under the leadership of the end-user Sextant Avionique, includes CISE and Computas Expert Systems for KB development, Ilog for KB development tools, Det Norske (DNV) for safety and certification, Qualience for software quality, Uninfo for all the related standardisation issues, and Tecnatom for defining with Sextant Avionique and Det Norske Veritas the industrial problem domain which will be covered first.

The results of the project will be exploited along four major lines:

- Engineering of these applications (by end-users and/or software houses).
- Development-oriented services to organisations in charge of these engineering (by companies providing assistance to project management, quality control and operating safety).
- Certification oriented services to organisations in charge of these engineering (activities interfacing the certification bodies).
- Support tools licensing (as a vehicle for dissemination of the Safe-KBS methodology).

Funding Scheme

IIF - Marie Curie actions-Incoming International Fellowships


Sextant Avionique
Aerodrome De Villacoublay
78141 Velizy-villacoublay

Participants (5)

Centro Informazioni Studi ed Esperienze SpA
Via Reggio Emilia 39
20090 Segrate
Computas A.S.
Vollsveien 9
1324 Lysaker
Det Norske Veritas Research
Veritasveien 1
N-1322 Hoevik
Rue De Verdun 9
94250 Gentilly
Avda. Montes De Oca 1
28709 Madrid