Many safety-related, certification standards exist for developing safety-critical systems. System safety assessments are common practice and system certification according to a standard requires submitting relevant software safety information to appropriate authorities. The airworthiness standard, RTCA DO-178B, is the de-facto standard for certifying aerospace systems containing software. This research introduces an approach to improve communication and collaboration among safety engineers and software engineers by proposing a Unified Modeling Language (UML) profile that allows software engineers to model safety-related concepts and properties in UML, the de-facto software modeling language. Key safety-related concepts are extracted from RTCA DO-178B, and then a UML profile is defined to enable their precise modeling. We show that the profile improves the line of communication between safety engineers and software engineers, for instance by allowing the automated generation of certification-related information from UML models. This is illustrated through a case study on developing an aircraft's navigation controller subsystem.

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Carleton University

Zoughbi, G. (Gregory), Briand, L. (Lionel), & Labiche, Y. (2007). A UML profile for developing airworthiness-compliant (RTCA DO-178B), safety-critical software.