Abstract

Human errors are attributed to a majority of accidents and malfunctions in complex engineered systems. The human error and functional failure reasoning (HEFFR) framework was developed to assess potential functional failures, human errors, and their propagation paths during early design stages so that more reliable systems with improved performance and safety can be designed. In order to perform a comprehensive analysis using this framework, a wide array of potential failure scenarios need to be tested. Coming up with such use cases that can cover a majority of faults can be challenging for engineers. This research aims overcome this limitation by creating a use case generation technique that covers both component- and human-related fault scenarios. The proposed technique is a time-based simulation that employs a modified depth first search (DFS) to simulate events as the event propagation is analyzed using HEFFR at each time-step. The results show that the proposed approach is capable of generating a wide variety of fault scenarios involving humans and components. Out of the 15.4 million scenarios that were found to violate the critical function, two had purely human-induced faults, 163,204 had purely non-human-induced faults, and the rest had a combination of both. The results also show that the framework was able to uncover hard-to-detect scenarios such as scenarios with human errors that do not propagate to affect the system. In fact, 86% of all human action combinations with nominal human-induced component behaviors had underlying human errors.

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