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Workshop on Assurance Cases For Software-Intensive Systems Held on September 22nd
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Workshop on Assurance Cases For Software-Intensive Systems Held on September 22nd

The third international workshop on Assurance Cases for Software-intensive Systems (ASSURE 2015) was held on September 22nd, 2015, in conjunction with the International Conference on Computer Safety, Reliability, and Security (SafeComp) in Delft, Netherlands. ASSURE 2015 was co-organized by Ewen Denney and Ganesh Pai of TI's Robust Software Engineering research area, along with Ibrahim Habli of the University of York, England. Over 30 participants attended, split roughly between the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

Assurance cases are structured arguments that connect dependability and safety claims to supporting evidence. Several certification standards and guidelines, e.g., in the defense, transportation (aviation, automotive, rail), and healthcare domains now recommend or mandate the development of assurance cases for software-intensive systems. ASSURE 2015 aimed to provide an international forum for high-quality research, practice, and position papers on the application of assurance case principles and techniques for software assurance, and on the treatment of assurance cases as artifacts for which the full range of software engineering techniques can be applied.

The program committee consisted of leading researchers in the area and several industrial practitioners. Accepted papers covered the broad areas of assurance case principles, notations, and techniques, and practical application. The program included a keynote talk by Pippa Moore of the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority on how the aviation industry evaluates safety arguments, where the industry is going, and what may need to be done to gain confidence in increasingly complex safety arguments. The program also included tool demonstrations, as well as a panel discussion on "The Role of Argumentation in Certification and Safety Risk Management," which was chaired by Ewen Denney.

BACKGROUND: Ewen Denney and Ganesh Pai are developing the Assurance Case Automation ToolsEt (AdvoCATE) for the principled application of argument-based assurance to aviation problems, such as safety assurance and airworthiness certification. They have applied their methodology and contributed to the development of a safety assurance case for a ground-based sensing and avoidance capability in support of the Marginal Ice Zone Observations and Processes EXperiment (MIZOPEX) Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) mission, and are currently developing safety cases for the UAS Traffic Management (UTM) technical challenge.

PROGRAM FUNDING: Safe Autonomous Systems Operations (SASO) project, Airspace Operations and Safety Program (AOSP), Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD)

POC: Ewen Denney, ewen.denney@nasa.gov

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