Verification of Fault-Tolerant System Architectures Using Model Checking

Jussi Lahtinen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Model checking is a formal method that has proven useful for verifying e.g. logic designs of safety systems used in nuclear plants. However, redundant subsystems are implemented in nuclear plants in order to achieve a certain level of fault-tolerance. A formal system-level analysis that takes into account both the detailed logic design of the systems and the potential failures of the hardware equipment is a difficult challenge. In this work, we have created new methodology for modelling hardware failures, and used it to enable the verification of the fault-tolerance of the plant using model checking. We have used an example probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) model of a fictional nuclear power plant as reference and created a corresponding model checking model that covers several safety systems of the plant. Using the plant-level model we verified several safety properties of the nuclear plant. We also analysed the fault-tolerance of the plant with regard to these properties, and used abstraction techniques to manage the large plant-level model. Our work is a step towards being able to exhaustively verify properties on a single model that covers the entire plant. The developed methodology follows closely the notations of PRA analysis, and serves as a basis for further integration between the two approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputer Safety, Reliability, and Security
Subtitle of host publicationSAFECOMP 2014 Workshops: ASCoMS, DECSoS, DEVVARTS, ISSE, ReSA4CI, SASSUR
EditorsAndrea Bondavalli, Andrea Ceccarelli, Frank Ortmeier
Place of PublicationCham
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-10557-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-10556-7
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication

Publication series

SeriesLecture Notes in Computer Science


  • Model checking, nuclear power plants, architecture, hardware failure, fault-tolerance


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