Integrated Safety Engineering with safeTbox

safeTbox is a multi-viewpoint and multi-analysis tool framework aimed at supporting engineers during the development and certification phases of safety-critical systems. It tightly integrates activities and models from safety engineering with those from systems engineering, thus fostering the interaction between safety engineers and system engineers and bridging the gap between these two. Moreover, modularization is a core concept in safeTbox and is applied to (or a characteristic of) many of the implemented methods and techniques. In putting such strong emphasis on modularization, safeTbox facilitates maintainability and reusability, as well as supplier-OEM relationships and integration of third-party components.

safeTbox is being developed as an extension of the commercial modeling tool Enterprise Architect (EA). It comprises a set of profiles for the definition of specialized modeling languages (in support of the typical safety-engineering activities) as well as several add-ins to extend the functionality of EA, primarily for the support of computations, usability, and interoperability.

Architecture Design according to SysML and SPES XT

Appropriate documentation of the system's architecture is critical input for the realization of any safety-related activity. Therefore, safeTbox integrates standardized approaches like SysML as well as new experimental approaches like the SPES modeling framework. These approaches allow the specification of the system on a modular and hierarchical basis, on which safety-related artifacts can be structured.

Model-based Hazard and Risk Assessment

Hazard and risk assessments have been traditionally performed with the help of tools like Excel. In safeTbox, we follow an integrated model-based approach to overcome the typical problems that arise from the use of such a tool, such as the lack of maintainability and traceability. In this respect, safeTbox provides support for two domains: Automotive (ISO 26262) and Aerospace (ARP 4761).

Safety Analysis

Safety analysis in safeTbox is focused on the modeling of failure models in which the faults of individual components can be specified as well as on their interaction in order to depict the failure behavior of the entire system. This can be achieved by using different techniques such as Fault Tree Analysis, FMEAs, and Markov chains. All of these can be integrated into a heterogeneous model, which can afterwards be analyzed both from a qualitative and from a quantitative point of view.

safeTbox integrates several computation engines that can be used for this purpose. Specially, an integration with Fault Tree Plus from Isograph has been implemented.

Safety Concepts

Especially, but not exclusively, in the automotive domain, a safety concept is demanded as part of the certification process. Traditionally, this is a document in which a set of safety requirements are listed. In safeTbox, we have evolved this concept by defining a model-based implementation that overcomes typical issues related to text-based approaches such as traceability, modularity, and poor argumentation.

Safety Cases

Safety cases are becoming more and more relevant for the safety assessments of systems and for their certification. safeTbox supports the user in this respect by integrating the Goal Structuring Notation as the best-known technique for supporting the specification of safety cases. Moreover, special traceability features have been built in to facilitate the assessment process.

Usability Features

Usability is a key factor in increasing the acceptability of any tool. Therefore, we have put special focus on it in safeTbox. Our usability features aim at increasing the user’s productivity by extending and enhancing the modeling features integrated into Enterprise Architect. With them, a user will be able to perform traditionally tedious activities more comfortably and faster. Moreover, some of them are completely automated by the system.

Backup management

Seamlessly create and restore snapshots of your projects within seconds

Diagram and project history

Keep track of your recently opened models and diagrams

Modeling space synchronization

Easily switch between diagram views and EA project browser

Easy navigation

Navigate faster through complex hierarchical structure models

Enhanced modeling support

Create and generate models faster

Automated trace generation

Build traces between elements using natural language specifications

Model validation

Validate your models with respect to syntax, semantics, and consistency

Strong diagram layouting

Automate the layouting of diagram elements and connectors


Publications related to the tool

a.       S. Velasco, Towards proper tool support for component-oriented and model-based development of safety-critical systems, Proceedings of the 4th Commercial Vehicle Technology Symposium, Kaiserslautern, Germany, CVT 2016.

b.      M. Kaessmeyer, S. Velasco, M. Schurius, Evaluation of a systematic approach in variant management for safety-critical systems development, Proceedings of the International Conference on Embedded and Ubiquitous Computing, Porto, Portugal, EUC 2015.

c.       P. Antonino, S. Velasco, D. Schneider, M. Trapp M., J. Reich. iSafE: An integrated Safety Engineering Tool-Framework. Proceedings of the International Workshop on Dependable Control of Discrete Systems, Cancun, Mexico, 2015.

Publications related to the methodologies

a.    J. Schwinn, R. Adler and S. Kemmann: “Combining Safety Engineering and Product Line Engineering.” In Software Engineering 2013 Workshop, Aachen, Germany, 2013.

b.    R. Adler et al.: "Integration of Component Fault Trees into the UML", proceedings in Models in Software Engineering, Workshops and Symposia at MODELS 2010 - Reports and Revised Selected Papers, pp. 312-327, Springer-Verlag Berlin, Heidelberg, 2011

c.     D. Domis and M. Trapp: “Integrating Safety Analyses and Component-Based Design”. International Conference on Computer Safety, Reliability and Security (SafeComp), pp. 58-71, 2008

d.    T.P. Kelly, and R. Weaver: "The Goal Structuring Notation – A Safety Argument Notation", in Proc. DSN Workshop on Assurance Cases: Best Practices, Possible Outcomes, and Future Opportunities, 2004.

e.    B. Kaiser, P. Liggesmeyer and O. Mackel: “A new component concept for fault trees”. Proceedings of the 8th Australian workshop on Safety critical systems and software, pp. 37-46, October 01, Canberra, Australia, 2003

f.    D. Schneider and M. Trapp: „Conditional Safety Certification of Open Adaptive Systems.” ACM Trans. Auton. Adapt. Syst. 8, 2, Article 8 (July 2013), 20 pages, 2013.


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