Dymodia is a software application that allows engineers and safety analysts to model safety-critical systems and perform analyses on those models to help determine the possible impacts of component failures on the rest of the system, whether individually or in combination. Three types of models are possible:
- Hierarchical block diagrams to model static system architecture
- State machines to model dynamic system behaviour
- Static or dynamic fault trees to model additional failure behaviour
These system models can be linked together and annotated with failure data to describe how individual components may fail or propagate failures. Both qualitative and quantitative annotations are possible. From this information, Dymodia can automatically synthesise system-wide models in the form of interconnected fault trees that describe the overall failure behaviour of the system. This process allows a global view of system dependability to be produced from smaller, local views at the component level.
High-performance algorithms can then be used to analyse these global failure models. Dymodia supports Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) as well as Failure Mode & Effects Analysis (FMEA) and crucially also offers support for the analysis of dynamic systems, i.e., systems which can operate in multiple states or in which behaviour changes over time.
Intended primarily as a design-time tool, the results of these analyses can then be used to inform future design decisions, e.g. by altering the design to avoid or mitigate potential faults, and can help to ensure the resulting product complies with international safety standards. Dymodia is unique in combining these different tasks into a single application, directly linking the dependability information to the system models and thereby avoiding the need to manually create or update analysis artefacts in response to design changes. Dymodia should prove useful to engineers in any safety-critical industry.
How it works
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To see how Dymodia works in practice, we present an example system as it progresses through each step. The example system is a simplified fuel system with redundant tanks fuelling two engines, such as might be found on a ship or aircraft.