Course syllabus - Safety critical software 6.0 credits

Säkerhetskritisk mjukvara

Course code: DVA465
Valid from: Autumn semester18
Level of education: Second cycle
Subject: Informatics/Computer and Systems Scie...
Main Field(s) of Study: Computer Science,
In-Depth Level: A1N (Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements),
School: IDT
Ratification date: 2018-02-01


The purpose is to give the students an overview of issues and methods for development and quality assurance of safety-critical software, including details of selected technologies, methods and tools.


Learning outcomes

After completing the course, the student shall be able to:
1. be well aware of key issues, tools and methods used for development of safety-critical software
2. be able to apply selected tools and methods for development and quality assurance of safety-critical software
3. have demonstrated ability to document the safety assurance work
4. have acquired an ability to adopt scientific advances within the area

Course content

1. Introduction to functional safety; knowledge that give increased understanding of the relationship between Embedded systems / safety-critical system / accidents / complexity / development models (development lifecycle models) / certification / "the safety case".
2. Analysis and modelling methods; review of analysis and modelling techniques for the development of safety-critical systems.
3. Verification and validation of safety critical software, methods and activities to perform verification and validation
4. Architectures for safety critical systems. Safety as a design constraint

Teaching methods

Web-based pre-recorded lectures.

Specific entry requirements

120 credits of which at least 80 credits should be within Computer Science, Computer Engineering or equivalent, and at least 18 months of documented work experience in software development or software related areas. In addition Swedish course B/Swedish course 3 and English course A/English course 6 are required. For courses given entirely in English exemption is made from the requirement in Swedish course B/Swedish course 3.


Written assignment (INL1), Module 1: Introduction, 2 credits, (examines the learning objectives 1, 3 and 4), marks Fail (U) or Pass (G)
Written assignment (INL2), Module 2: Analysis Techniques, 1,5 credits, (examines the learning objectives 1 and 4), marks Fail (U) or Pass (G)
Written assignment (INL3), Module 3: Verification and Validation, 1,5 credits, (examines the learning objectives 1-4), marks Fail (U) or Pass (G)
Written assignment (INL4), Module 4: Architectures, 1 credit, (examines the learning objectives 1,2 and 4), marks Fail (U) or Pass (G)

A student who has a certificate from MDH regarding a disability has the opportunity to submit a request for supportive measures during written examinations or other forms of examination, in accordance with the Rules and Regulations for Examinations at First-cycle and Second-cycle Level at Mälardalen University (2016/0601). It is the examiner who takes decisions on any supportive measures, based on what kind of certificate is issued, and in that case which measures are to be applied.

Suspicions of attempting to deceive in examinations (cheating) are reported to the Vice-Chancellor, in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance, and are examined by the University’s Disciplinary Board. If the Disciplinary Board considers the student to be guilty of a disciplinary offence, the Board will take a decision on disciplinary action, which will be a warning or suspension.

Rules and regulations for examinations


Two-grade scale

Transitional provisions

The course overlaps with 6 credits towards Safety-critical Software and also completely with Functional safety for safety critical software.

Course literature is preliminary until 3 weeks before the course starts. Literature may be valid over several terms.

Valid from: Autumn semester18

Decision date: 2018-07-04

Last update: 2018-07-04


Leveson, Nancy.;

Engineering a safer world : systems thinking applied to safety

ISBN: 978-0-262-01662-9 LIBRIS-ID: 13552321

xx, 534 p.


Han, X.; Zhang, J.;

A Combined Analysis Method of FMEA and FTA for Improving the Safety Analysis Quality of Safety-Critical Software, 2013 IEEE International Conference on Granular Computing

Lisova, E.; et. al, ;

A Systematic Way to Incorporate Security in Safety Analysis, 3rd Workshop on Security and Dependability of Critical Embedded Real-Time Systems

Rady de Almeida, J.; et. al, ;

Best Practices in Code Inspection for Safety-Critical Software

Fagan, M.E.;

Design and code inspections to reduce errors in program development

Hänninen, K.; et. al, ;

Determining Maximum Stack Usage in Preemptive Shared Stack Systems, 27th IEEE International Real-Time System Symposium

Ogasawara, H.; et. al, ;

Experiences with program static analysis, In proceedings of the 5th International Software Metrics Symposium


IEEE Standard for Software Verification and Validation Plans, IEEE Std 1012-1986

In-flight upset event 240 km north-west of Perth, ATSB TRANSPORT SAFETY INVESTIGATION REPORT, Aviation Occurrence Report – 200503722

Hänninen, K.; et. al, ;

Inadequate risk analysis might jeopardize the functional safety of modern systems, Technical report

Wang, L.;

Issues on software testing for safety-critical real-time automation systems, 23rd Digital Avionics Systems Conference

Lisper, B.; et. al, ;

Practical experiences of applying source-level WCET flow analysis to industrial code, In proceedings of the 4th international conference on Leveraging applications of formal methods, verification and validation

PROBABILISTIC R&M PARAMETERS AND REDUNDANCY CALCULATIONS, Applied R&M Manual for Defence Systems, Part D - Supporting Theory, GR-77 Issue 2012

Johnsen, A.; et. al, ;

Risk-based Decision-making Fallacies: Why Present Functional Safety Standards Are Not Enough, IEEE International conference on software architecture workshops

Wu, W.; Kelly, T.;

Safety Tactics for Software Architecture Design, In proceedings of the 28th annual international computer software and applications confererence

Cullyer, W.J.; et. al, ;

The choice of computer languages for use in safety-critical systems