Comparing Selected Knowledge-based Fault Tree Construction Tools

G. Latif-Shabgahi (UK)


Expert Systems, Reliability and Safety Assessment, Fault Diagnosis, Control Loop.


Fault trees have been widely used for assessing the reliability and safety of engineering systems at the design and verification phases. The assessment involves two stages: fault tree construction and fault tree analysis. Manual construction and analysis of fault trees are time-intensive, laborious, and prone to errors of omission and inaccuracies. Many computer-assisted programs and tools have been proposed in the literature to resolve these problems. Among computer-based tools, expert systems have received considerable attention during the last decade. Such techniques simplify the way fault trees are specified and allow the incorporation of prior knowledge and experiences. Some of the tools are highly effective in prompting consistency throughout the fault tree and, in giving assistance in resolution of loops, both fundamental difficulties of fault tree methods. This paper provides a comparison between selected knowledge-based fault tree construction tools which have been implemented during last decade. The tools are briefly explained and then compared from the viewpoint of capabilities, limitations, knowledge base implementation approach, inference technique, potential application areas and component modelling approach. The comparison results give the user some useful guidelines to the selection of the most suitable tool for a particular application system.

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