Incremental Assurance Through Eliminative Argumentation

Authors

  • Simon Diemert Critical Systems Labs Inc.
  • John B. Goodenough Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute
  • Jeff Joyce Critical Systems Labs Inc.
  • Charles B. Weinstock Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.56094/jss.v58i1.215

Keywords:

assurance cases, confidence, eliminative, argumentation, goal structuring notation

Abstract

An assurance case for a critical system is valid for that system at a particular point in time, such as when the system is delivered to a certification authority for review. The argument is structured around evidence that exists at that point in time. However, modern assurance cases are rarely one-off exercises. More information might become available (e.g., field data) that could strengthen (or weaken) the validity of the case. This paper proposes the notion of incremental assurance wherein the assurance case structure includes both the currently available evidence and a plan for incrementally increasing confidence in the system as additional or higher quality evidence becomes available. Such evidence is needed to further reduce doubts engineers or reviewers might have. This paper formalizes the idea of incremental assurance through an argumentation pattern. The concept of incremental assurance is demonstrated by applying the pattern to part of a safety assurance case for an air traffic control system.

Author Biography

Simon Diemert, Critical Systems Labs Inc.

Critical Systems Labs Inc., Vancouver, BC, Canada
University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada

References

Assurance Case Working Group. (2021). Goal Structuring Notation Community Standard - Version 3. Safety-Critical Systems Club.

Goodenough, J. B., Weinstock, C. B., & Klein, A. Z. (2015). Eliminative Argumentation: A Basis for Arguing Confidence in System Properties. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University.

Haddon-Cave, C. (2009). The Nimrod Review. London, UK: London Stationary Office.

Kelly, T. P. (1998). Arguing safety - A Systematic Approach to Safety Case Management. University of York.

Koopman, P., & Wagner, M. (2020). Positive Trust Balance for Self-driving Car Deployment. Computer Safety, Reliability, and Security. SAFECOMP 2020 Workshops. Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-55583-2_26

Szczygielska, M., Jarzebowicz, A. (2017). Assurance Case Patterns On-line Catalogue. Advances in Dependability Engineering of Complex

Systems (pp. 407-417). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-59415-6_39

Toulmin, S. E. (2003). The Uses of Argument. Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511840005

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Published

2023-02-22 — Updated on 2023-03-03

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How to Cite

Diemert, S., Goodenough, J., Joyce, J., & Weinstock, C. (2023). Incremental Assurance Through Eliminative Argumentation. Journal of System Safety, 58(1), 7–15. https://doi.org/10.56094/jss.v58i1.215 (Original work published February 22, 2023)