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(Safety and Risk Evaluation using Bayesian Nets)

CSR Personnel: Professor Fenton, Dr. Neil, Dr. Galliers and Professor Strigini.

Contact: Prof Lorenzo Strigini

Funding Source: ESPRIT Framework IV Collaborative Project 22187.

Funding to CSR, City University: 265,000 ECU

Duration: 1 June 1996 - 1 Dec 1998.

Summary: To develop a method and tool for safety assessments of software-intensive, safety-critical systems.


  • To develop a method for constructing software safety arguments using Bayesian Belief Networks (BBN's),
  • to adapt an existing BBN tool to support the method, and
  • to evaluate the application of the method and tool through practical trials.

Approach: A practical approach is adopted, based on modifications to an existing BBN tool, together with the involvement of experienced practitioners to formulate strategies for representing safety arguments. Practical trials of the method and tool will be carried out. The involvement of a user group throughout the work programme is an integral part of the project which is intended to achieve good exploitation of the work.


  • The provision of a manual detailing procedures for identifying and structuring evidence that a system meets the safety requirements of IEC 1508,
  • The provision of a tool using BBN technology to automate the implementation of the method,
  • A quantified comparison of the performance of the proposed method and tool compared to conventional methods.

Impact: European legislation requires industry to justify that its products are safe. Currently, there is little experience of the necessary techniques within industry and significant costs can be accrued in developing safety cases, potentially excluding small companies from the marketplace. The availability of practical methods and tools should assist companies in reaching the required European safety standards in a cost-effective manner.

The products of the project will be exploited at three levels of provision, as follows:

  • Guidance on construction of a safety argument,
  • Procedures for providing a safety case based on BBN technology,
  • Automated tool support.

European Partners: ERA Technology (UK), HUGIN Expert A/S (Denmark), TŸV Nord (Germany) ElectricitŽ de France (France), Objectif Technologie (France).

For further information on the above project,

  SERENE Web pages

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version 2.2 Published: 28th Jun 2004