Show simple item record

dc.contributor.authorStephen, Cynthiaen
dc.date.accessioned2020-06-25T17:46:11Z
dc.date.available2020-06-25T17:46:11Z
dc.date.issued2020-06-25
dc.identifier.othervt_gsexam:26573en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10919/99144
dc.description.abstractSafety risk assessment forms an integral part of the design and development of Safety Critical Systems. Conventionally in these systems, standards and policies have been developed to prescribe processes for safety risk assessment. These standards provide guidelines, references and structure to personnel involved in the risk assessment process. However, in some of these standards, the prescribed methods for safety decision making were found to be deficient in some respects. Two such deficiencies have been addressed in this thesis. First, when different safety metrics are required to be combined for a safety related decision, the current practices of using safety risk matrices were found to be inconsistent with the axioms of decision theory. Second, in the safety risk assessment process, when multiple experts are consulted to provide their judgment on the severity and/or likelihood of hazards, the standards were lacking detailed guidelines for aggregating experts' judgements. Such deficiencies could lead to misconceptions pertaining to the safety risk level of critical hazards. These misconceptions potentially give rise to inconsistent safety decisions that might ultimately result in catastrophic outcomes. This thesis addresses both these concerns present in SRM processes. For the problem of combining safety metrics, three potential approaches have been proposed. Normative Decision Analysis tools such as Utility Theory and Multi-attribute Utility Theory were proposed in the first and second approaches. The third approach proposes the use of a Multi-Objective Optimization technique - Pareto Analysis. For problems in Expert Aggregation, behavioral and mathematical solutions have been explored and the implications of using these methods for Safety Risk Assessment have been discussed. Two standard documents that contain the Safety Risk Management Processes of the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) and the U.S. Navy were used to structure the case studies. This thesis has two main contributions. First, it evaluates the use of decision analysis in safety decision process of Safety Critical Systems. It provides guidelines to decision makers on how to meaningfully use and/or combine different safety metrics in the decision process. Second, it identifies the best practices and methods of aggregating expert assessments pertaining to safety decision making.en
dc.format.mediumETDen
dc.publisherVirginia Techen
dc.rightsThis item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. Some uses of this item may be deemed fair and permitted by law even without permission from the rights holder(s), or the rights holder(s) may have licensed the work for use under certain conditions. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights holder(s).en
dc.subjectSafety Risk Assessmenten
dc.subjectDecision Analysisen
dc.subjectUtility Theoryen
dc.subjectMultiattribute Utilityen
dc.subjectExpert Aggregationen
dc.subjectJudgement Aggregation.en
dc.titleImpediments to Effective Safety Risk Assessment of Safety Critical Systems: An Insight into SRM Processes and Expert Aggregationen
dc.typeThesisen
dc.contributor.departmentIndustrial and Systems Engineeringen
dc.description.degreeMaster of Scienceen
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Scienceen
thesis.degree.levelmastersen
thesis.degree.grantorVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen
thesis.degree.disciplineIndustrial and Systems Engineeringen
dc.contributor.committeechairSalado Diez, Alejandroen
dc.contributor.committeememberKleiner, Brian M.en
dc.contributor.committeememberKannan, Hanumanthraoen
dc.description.abstractgeneralSafety risk assessment forms an important part of the design and development of Safety Critical Systems. Safety Critical Systems are those systems whose failure could potentially result in the loss of human life. Commonly in these systems, standards and policies have been developed to prescribe processes for safety risk assessment. These standards provide guidelines, references and structure to personnel involved in the risk assessment process. However, in some of these standards, the prescribed methods for safety decision making were found to be deficient in some respects. Two such deficiencies have been addressed in this thesis. First, when different safety metrics are required to be combined to provide information for a safety related decision, the current practices of the safety risk assessment do not yield consistent recommendations. Second, in the safety risk assessment process, often multiple experts are consulted to provide their judgment on the criticality of a potential safety risk of the system. The standards and policies that are currently being used, do not provide clear instructions on how to synthesize the judgements of multiple experts. This lack of clear guidelines could potentially lead to an incorrect final judgement on the criticality of the risk and ultimately result in choosing an improper method to reduce the safety risk. This thesis addresses both these concerns present in safety risk assessment process of Safety Critical Systems. For the problem of combining safety metrics, three approaches have been proposed. Two of the proposed approaches make use of normative decision analysis practices and therefore the recommendations reached using these methods will be consistent with the safety objective of the decision maker. The third approach makes use of a traditional concept called -Pareto Analysis which provides a visual method to analyze the advantages and drawbacks of a given safety concern for a system. For problems in combining the judgements of multiple experts a variety of methods was studied. The methods include group consensus and mathematical techniques and the implications of using these methods in safety risk assessment was discussed. The FAA and the U.S. Navy's standard documents and policies were used to frame the discussions. This thesis has two main contributions. First, it evaluates the use of Normative Decision Analysis methods in safety decision process of Safety Critical Systems. It provides guidelines to decision makers on how to meaningfully use and/or combine different safety metrics in the decision process. Second, it identifies the best practices and methods of aggregating expert assessments pertaining to safety decision making.en


Files in this item

Thumbnail

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record