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LFCS seminar by Dr Ewen Denney: Towards Automation in Assurance Cases

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  • LFCS Seminar
When Jun 19, 2014
from 03:00 PM to 04:00 PM
Where IF 2.33
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Safety assurance cases have been in use for some time in the defense,

rail, and oil & gas sectors. Increasingly, they are being adopted for

safety assurance in other safety-critical domains, such as aviation,

automotive systems, and medical devices. Effectively, safety cases

reflect an evidence-driven, argument-based approach to safety

assurance, and have become a key element in safety regulation.


Although safety cases marshal heterogeneous evidence, of which a

significant portion can include formal engineering artifacts, safety

cases themselves remain, largely, informal. Furthermore, in the

current practice, their creation, evolution and evaluation continues

to be a manually-driven process, with the available set of tools

providing little to no support for automation.


We believe that (i) a more formal foundation for safety cases will

affirm their role as essential, first-class, safety engineering

artifacts, and (ii) given a formal basis, that much can be

intelligently automated.


In this talk, we present some of the issues involved in moving towards

a more formal, automated approach for safety case development, and how

some of these have been addressed in our toolset for assurance case

automation, AdvoCATE. We illustrate this with several examples from

the Unmanned Aircraft domain.


About the speaker:


Dr Ewen Denney (PhD, Edinburgh 1999) is a senior computer scientist

with SGT, Inc. at the NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field,

California, where he currently leads a research group that is seeking

to establish a formal basis for safety cases, develop a tool to

support this, and apply this work to NASA problems.


He has worked on automated code generation and safety certification in

the aerospace domain, developing substantial AI-based systems for the

the automated generation of code for scientific computation, and the

certification of autocode.


He is the author of more than 60 publications on formal methods and

program synthesis, and has served on numerous program committees and

scientific advisory boards. He has chaired and co-chaired several

conferences, including the inaugural NASA Formal Methods Symposium

(2009), Generative Programming and Component Engineering (2011), and

Automated Software Engineering (2013).




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