Title: Supporting SW-FMEA through an ontology-based methodology

Authors: Irene Bicchierai; Giacomo Bucci; Enrico Vicario

Addresses: Department of Information Engineering, University of Florence, Via di S. Marta 3, Florence, Italy ' Department of Information Engineering, University of Florence, Via di S. Marta 3, Florence, Italy ' Department of Information Engineering, University of Florence, Via di S. Marta 3, Florence, Italy

Abstract: Failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) is a widely used dependability and safety technique aiming at systematically identifying failure modes, their causes, their effects, and the countermeasures that could mitigate their impact. Although FMEA has been thought for hardware, its use is also advocated for software (SW-FMEA). However, this involves several major hurdles such as the complexity of functional requirements and the difficulty to identify failure modes of SW components. We present an approach for efficient and effective manipulation of data involved in the SW-FMEA process, introducing an ontological model that formalises concepts comprised in the analysis and provides a common conceptual framework supporting cohesion across different stages of a development life-cycle. The ontological model opened the way to the implementation of a tool, which automates SW-FMEA providing support for basic and advanced functionalities, fastening the analysis. Use of the tool in a real SW development process is discussed at the end of the paper.

Keywords: software FMEA; failure mode and effects analysis; SW-FMEA; V-model; ontologies; automated reasoning; reliability; availability; maintainability; safety; RAMS; software engineering; traceability; dependability; software development.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCCBS.2015.068840

International Journal of Critical Computer-Based Systems, 2015 Vol.6 No.1, pp.1 - 28

Received: 09 May 2013
Accepted: 24 Feb 2014

Published online: 10 Apr 2015 *

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