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Experiences from Applying an Ontology in Hazard Analysis of Autonomous System of Systems

Publication Type:

Conference/Workshop Paper


Aerospace Technology Congress 2019


In this paper, we will apply a Hazard Ontology (HO) to perform a hazard analysis of an autonomous System of Systems (SoS). We investigate if the HO is a valuable method to perform Hazard Identification (HI) for an autonomous SoS. This paper aims to report on our experiences when transforming a SoS description to formal ontological representation, and how to apply it for HI. A SoS requires a thorough understanding of how the whole system and its constituents work concerning the identification and determination of potential hazards. A SoS does not always have clearly defined boundaries and contains nonlinear relationships between systems. The unexpected occurrence of sudden changes in a SoS can cause cascading failures and emergent hazards that are difficult to dependably investigate with common hazard analysis for single systems. Emergent hazards are the result of the collection of several systems thus they require hazard analysis techniques that enable identification and examination of SoS hazards. The contribution of this paper is a report on the lessons learned, issues and experiences encountered when transforming a natural language system description to an ontological representation for HI. We describe our findings in identifying hazards and hazard components as well as the relations among them. Preliminary results from the transformation of a SoS description into an ontological representation show that the structured approach provided by the ontology allows a thorough investigation of the possible interactions among systems which increases the chance to find the emergent hazards.


author = {Malina Adach and Kaj H{\"a}nninen and Luciana Provenzano and Kristina Lundqvist},
title = {Experiences from Applying an Ontology in Hazard Analysis of Autonomous System of Systems},
month = {October},
year = {2019},
booktitle = {Aerospace Technology Congress 2019},
url = {}