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Rigorous Development of a Safety-critical system based on co-ordinated Atomic Actions

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Brian RandellORCiD, Professor Alexander RomanovskyORCiD, Dr Robert Stroud, Avelino Zorzo



This paper describes our experience using coordinated atomic (CA) actions as a system structuring tool to design and validate a sophisticated control system for a complex industrial application that has high reliability and safety requirements. Our study is based on the “Fault-Tolerant Production Cell”, which represents a manufacturing process involving redundant mechanical devices (provided in order to enable continued production in the presence of machine faults). The challenge posed by the model specification is to design a control system that maintains specified safety and liveness properties even in the presence of a large number and variety of device and sensor failures. We discuss in this paper: i) a design for a control program that uses CA actions to deal with both safety-related and fault tolerance concerns, and ii) the formal verification of this design based on the use of model-checking. We found that CA action structuring facilitated both the design and verification tasks by enabling the various safety problems (e.g. clashes of moving machinery) to be treated independently.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Xu J, Randell B, Romanovsky A, Stroud R, Zorzo AF, Canver E, von Henke F

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Proceedings of the 29th International Symposium on Fault-Tolerant Computing (FTCS)

Year of Conference: 1999

Pages: 68-75

Date deposited: 08/04/2011

Publisher: IEEE Computer Society


DOI: 10.1109/FTCS.1999.781035

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 076950213X