Analyzing the Impact of Data Errors in Safety-Critical Control Systems

Orjan ASKERDAL  Magnus GAFVERT  Martin HILLER  Neeraj SURI  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E86-D   No.12   pp.2623-2633
Publication Date: 2003/12/01
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Issue on Dependable Computing)
Category: Verification and Dependability Analysis
safety-critical systems,  control systems,  error modeling,  error analysis,  

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Computers are increasingly used for implementing control algorithms in safety-critical embedded applications, such as engine control, braking control and flight surface control. Consequently, computer errors can have severe impact on the safety of such systems. Addressing the coupling of control performance with computer related errors, this paper develops a methodology for analyzing the impacts data errors have on control system dependability. The impact of a data error is measured as the resulting control error. We use maximum bounds on this measure as the criterion for control system failure (i.e., if the control error exceeds a certain threshold, the system has failed). In this paper we a) develop suitable models of computer faults for analysis of control level effects and related analysis methods, and b) apply traditional control theory analysis methods for understanding the impacts of data errors on system dependability. An automobile slip-control brake-system is used as an example showing the viability of our approach.