Research Article Open Access

A Methodological Framework for Software Safety in Safety Critical Computer Systems

P. V. Srinivas Acharyulu1 and P. Seetharamaiah2
  • 1 GITAM University, India
  • 2 Andhra University, India


Software safety must deal with the principles of safety management, safety engineering and software engineering for developing safety-critical computer systems, with the target of making the system safe, risk-free and fail-safe in addition to provide a clarified differentaition for assessing and evaluating the risk, with the principles of software risk management. Problem statement: Prevailing software quality models, standards were not subsisting in adequately addressing the software safety issues for real-time safety-critical embedded systems. At present no standard framework does exist addressing the safety management and safety engineering priniciples for the development of software safety in safety-critical computer systems. Approach: In this study we propose a methodological framework involving safety management practices, safety engineering practices and software development life cycle phases for the development of software safety. In this framework we make use of the safety management practices such as planning, defining priniciples, fixing responsibilities, creteria and targets, risk assessment, design for safety, formulating safety requirements and integrating skills and techniques to address safety issues early with a vision for assurance and so on. In this framework we have also analysed integration of applicability of generic industrial heirarchy and software development heirarchy, with derived cyclical review involving safety professionals generating a nodal point for software safety. Results: This framework is applied to safety-critical software based laboratory prototype Railroad Crossing Control System (RCCS) with a limited complexity. The results have shown that all critical operations were safe and risk free. Conclusion: The development of software based on the proposed framework for RCCS have shown a clarified and improved safety-critical operations of the overall system peformance.

Journal of Computer Science
Volume 8 No. 9, 2012, 1564-1575


Submitted On: 20 February 2012 Published On: 16 August 2012

How to Cite: Acharyulu, P. V. S. & Seetharamaiah, P. (2012). A Methodological Framework for Software Safety in Safety Critical Computer Systems. Journal of Computer Science, 8(9), 1564-1575.

  • 5 Citations



  • Safety-critical systems
  • software safety
  • software quality
  • Rail Road Crossing Control System (RCCS)