Model checking of safety-critical software in the nuclear engineering domain

Jussi Lahtinen (Corresponding Author), Janne Valkonen, Kim Björkman, J. Frits, I. Niemelä, K. Heljanko

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    35 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Instrumentation and control (I&C) systems play a vital role in the operation of safety-critical processes. Digital programmable logic controllers (PLC) enable sophisticated control tasks which sets high requirements for system validation and verification methods. Testing and simulation have an important role in the overall verification of a system but are not suitable for comprehensive evaluation because only a limited number of system behaviors can be analyzed due to time limitations. Testing is also performed too late in the development lifecycle and thus the correction of design errors is expensive. This paper discusses the role of formal methods in software development in the area of nuclear engineering. It puts forward model checking, a computer-aided formal method for verifying the correctness of a system design model, as a promising approach to system verification. The main contribution of the paper is the development of systematic methodology for modeling safety critical systems in the nuclear domain. Two case studies are reviewed, in which we have found errors that were previously not detected. We also discuss the actions that should be taken in order to increase confidence in the model checking process.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)104-113
    Number of pages10
    JournalReliability Engineering and System Safety
    Volume105
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed
    EventEuropean Safety and Reliability Conference, ESREL 2010 - Rhodes, Greece
    Duration: 5 Sep 20109 Sep 2010

    Fingerprint

    Nuclear engineering
    Model checking
    Formal methods
    Testing
    Programmable logic controllers
    Software engineering
    Systems analysis

    Keywords

    • Automation
    • I&C
    • model checking
    • nuclear
    • safety
    • verification

    Cite this

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    title = "Model checking of safety-critical software in the nuclear engineering domain",
    abstract = "Instrumentation and control (I&C) systems play a vital role in the operation of safety-critical processes. Digital programmable logic controllers (PLC) enable sophisticated control tasks which sets high requirements for system validation and verification methods. Testing and simulation have an important role in the overall verification of a system but are not suitable for comprehensive evaluation because only a limited number of system behaviors can be analyzed due to time limitations. Testing is also performed too late in the development lifecycle and thus the correction of design errors is expensive. This paper discusses the role of formal methods in software development in the area of nuclear engineering. It puts forward model checking, a computer-aided formal method for verifying the correctness of a system design model, as a promising approach to system verification. The main contribution of the paper is the development of systematic methodology for modeling safety critical systems in the nuclear domain. Two case studies are reviewed, in which we have found errors that were previously not detected. We also discuss the actions that should be taken in order to increase confidence in the model checking process.",
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    author = "Jussi Lahtinen and Janne Valkonen and Kim Bj{\"o}rkman and J. Frits and I. Niemel{\"a} and K. Heljanko",
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    year = "2012",
    doi = "10.1016/j.ress.2012.03.021",
    language = "English",
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    journal = "Reliability Engineering and System Safety",
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    Model checking of safety-critical software in the nuclear engineering domain. / Lahtinen, Jussi (Corresponding Author); Valkonen, Janne; Björkman, Kim; Frits, J.; Niemelä, I.; Heljanko, K.

    In: Reliability Engineering and System Safety, Vol. 105, 2012, p. 104-113.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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    AU - Lahtinen, Jussi

    AU - Valkonen, Janne

    AU - Björkman, Kim

    AU - Frits, J.

    AU - Niemelä, I.

    AU - Heljanko, K.

    N1 - Project code: 73874

    PY - 2012

    Y1 - 2012

    N2 - Instrumentation and control (I&C) systems play a vital role in the operation of safety-critical processes. Digital programmable logic controllers (PLC) enable sophisticated control tasks which sets high requirements for system validation and verification methods. Testing and simulation have an important role in the overall verification of a system but are not suitable for comprehensive evaluation because only a limited number of system behaviors can be analyzed due to time limitations. Testing is also performed too late in the development lifecycle and thus the correction of design errors is expensive. This paper discusses the role of formal methods in software development in the area of nuclear engineering. It puts forward model checking, a computer-aided formal method for verifying the correctness of a system design model, as a promising approach to system verification. The main contribution of the paper is the development of systematic methodology for modeling safety critical systems in the nuclear domain. Two case studies are reviewed, in which we have found errors that were previously not detected. We also discuss the actions that should be taken in order to increase confidence in the model checking process.

    AB - Instrumentation and control (I&C) systems play a vital role in the operation of safety-critical processes. Digital programmable logic controllers (PLC) enable sophisticated control tasks which sets high requirements for system validation and verification methods. Testing and simulation have an important role in the overall verification of a system but are not suitable for comprehensive evaluation because only a limited number of system behaviors can be analyzed due to time limitations. Testing is also performed too late in the development lifecycle and thus the correction of design errors is expensive. This paper discusses the role of formal methods in software development in the area of nuclear engineering. It puts forward model checking, a computer-aided formal method for verifying the correctness of a system design model, as a promising approach to system verification. The main contribution of the paper is the development of systematic methodology for modeling safety critical systems in the nuclear domain. Two case studies are reviewed, in which we have found errors that were previously not detected. We also discuss the actions that should be taken in order to increase confidence in the model checking process.

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    KW - safety

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