Ontological Approach to Fault Tree and Failure Modes Effects Analysis Develpoment and Exploration

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Sch of Computing


The overall aim is to develop a prototype FTA/FMEA tool using Semantic Web technologies capable of:
- Expressing the underlying generic structural model as an ontology;
- Enable the specific fault trees and component FMEAs to be expressed using this generic ontology along with the related environmental factors specific to a particular environment;
- Enable structural and environmental sensitivity analysis to be performed through computer aided means - such as inferring hidden component / system relationships.

To achieve this the student will need to:

1. Gain an understanding of the engineering and military needs and contexts. This should include conducting two or more real-world case studies such as:
- A hazard analysis that is being used to support certification arguments
- a safely enhancement argument related to a context such as Traffic Collision Avoidance.
- An analysis of an incident due to a common cause failure such as that attributed to the recent A400M crash.
- A Risk to life Analysis required for a flying combat aircraft.

Such case studies could form the domain related foundation for later development and experiments.

2. Establish the requirements of an underlying generic model for FMEA, FTA and related processes such as Risk to Life analysis.

3. Develop an ontological model to represent these requirements. Depending on the outcome of (1) this could modify and enhance the core NeTTUN ontology.

4. For a target system (e.g. an aircraft sub-system) where a model has already been completed, redevelop the model as an ontology based on the core ontology and integrated components necessary to express environmental factors.

5. Develop a tool that enables the model to be explored and machine assistance given such as suggesting common failure modes, and where implicit relationships can be revealed and either verified or retracted.

6. Re-test at platform level to explore the degree to which the approach is scalable.

7. Verify the correctness of the outcomes.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/P510555/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1939336 Studentship EP/P510555/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2021 Paul Simon Brown