System safety clearly depends on hardware, software and the operational environment. But systems also use data: data consumed by the system, configuration data, data about the system (e.g. maintenance records) and even data about users of the system (e.g. competence data). Many systems also now contain vast commercial databases in which faulty data can indirectly impact safety via users or operators (e.g. medical records systems, geographic information systems).
These data-driven safety problems can occur in many industries and in many types of system â€“ e.g. air traffic control, railway traffic management, policing and healthcare. However, current standards and regulations focus on systems and software; handling of the data itself is poorly covered. And the problem is getting worse, due to the growing scale and availability of data. Do we need new standards and better regulation, to ensure that safety data is identified, assessed and managed appropriately?
The Safety-Critical Systems Club: How To Stop Data Causing Harm
Tuesday 4 December 2012
From The Cumberland Hotel, London
04 December 2012 Manufacturing channel
Safety Assurance must adapt to the changing nature of Systems and their technologies. These systems make increasing use of data. The opening presentation asks how data is addressed and what questions should be asked of the designer, implementer and the acceptor.
Dr Alastair Faulkner has over 30 years of systems and software experience.
A strong background in Systems Assurance, Systems Engineering gained from practical experience on large Programmes / Projects.
His principal interests include the influence of data (and data errors) on the behaviour of the system. Published papers address data integrity and data as a separate system component.