Application of Fuzzy Reasoning Methodology to Railway Safety Risk Assessment Process

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: Civil Engineering


Railway safety risk analysis is a very complicated subject where safety is determined by numerous factors including human error. Many railway safety risk assessment techniques currently used are comparatively mature tools. However, in many circumstances, the application of these tools may not give satisfactory results due to the lack of safety risk data or the high level of uncertainty involved in the safety risk data available. It is therefore essential to develop new safety risk analysis methods to identify major hazards and assess the associated risks in an acceptable way in various environments where such mature tools cannot be effectively or efficiently applied. this project study will identify current railway safety risk assessment tools and generic problems to achieving safety risk assessment, and highlight possible ways of overcoming them (i.e. using fuzzy reasoning approach to deal with data and information incomplete and/or inconsistent). The most important problem to achieving railway safety risk assessment has been identified as the decision-making process. The proposed research will also therefore explore the complex issues surrounding the problems at the time of decision-making and develop systematic synthesis method such as analytical hierarchy process (AHP) techniques. This systematic synthesis method will facilitate decision-making in railway operation and maintenance which will be made available to train operators, maintenance engineers and managers, and decision-makers at the earliest stages, which will also further help to promote safety risk thinking within railway industrial companies. The purpose of this proposal is to develop railway safety risk assessment models and a soft computing tool to support railway safety risk analysis in order to show compliance with safety targets and to make maintenance and future investment decisions. This research project will investigate in depth the principal railway safety risk issues and test the proposed safety risk assessment models and tool in a real environment with the industrial partners for appraising operation and maintenance schedules, also diagnosing, using fuzzy reasoning approach (FRA) and analytical hierarchy process (AHP) techniques, which will establish the railway safety risk assessment methodology as an excelenet national, and indeed intational, level. This will provide railway safety risk analysts, operators and engineers and managers with a method and tool to improve their safety management and set safety standards.


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