Artisan Rolls Out GSN Modeler for Safety-Critical Systems

Artisan® Software Tools, the world’s largest independent supplier of industrial-grade, collaborative modeling tools for complex, mission and safety-critical embedded systems and software, has announced the Artisan GSN Modeler. Artisan GSN Modeler provides developers of safety-critical systems with a powerful and easy-to-use visual modeling environment for the creation of well-structured, complex Safety Arguments using the Goal Structuring Notation (GSN). Artisan GSN Modeler will particularly appeal to Safety Case developers within the aerospace, defense, transportation and power industries that need to rigorously document and apply Safety Cases. Artisan GSN Modeler is available free-of-charge to new applicants accepted on to Artisan’s Early Availability Program.

“Safety Cases prove that a system is safe to operate, in a particular context so they need to be clear, comprehensive and defensible,” said Hedley Apperly, Vice-President of Marketing at Artisan Software Tools. “Safety Engineers need to create well constructed Arguments, demonstrating that their system achieves acceptable safety levels. Safety Arguments have traditionally been produced textually – but this is extremely difficult to do without the risk of ambiguity, while demonstrating a clear understanding of the Argument. As a result, Safety Cases created textually are often unclear, incomplete and hard to defend. Artisan’s GSN Modeler has been designed to overcome all of these issues by providing an easy-to-use and easy-to-understand visual modeling environment for their creation.”

GSN, developed at the University of York in the UK, provides the de facto standard for the graphical notation for Safety Argument definition and documentation. GSN’s shows how Safety Case Goals are broken down into sub-goals which are supported by evidence (Solutions), then state the Strategies used, giving explanations of the rationale (Assumptions and Justifications), all within a Context. Artisan GSN Modeler provides a visual environment for designing and documenting all of the GSN elements or nodes, along with the relationships between them.

“Artisan GSN Modeler is unique in its Safety Argument modeling approach, implementing GSN within an easy-to-use visual modeling environment,” said James B. Gambrell, Artisan’s CEO. “It enables Safety Engineers to clearly define the goals and solutions of their Arguments so that they are not only clear and comprehensive but defensible and free from ambiguity. Complementing Artisan Studio®, Artisan GSN Modeler further underpins our strategy for the delivery of world-class development tools for safety-critical software and systems and continues to advance our Work as One[tm] philosophy providing modeling support for the complete project lifecycle from conception to implementation.”

Artisan GSN Modeler runs on a powerful, multi-user repository so that Safety Engineers can model and share numerous independent Safety Arguments, within the same database. Each of the Arguments can then be partitioned to provide sub-sections of the overall argument. Individual Safety Engineers can focus on specific sub-sections, in the knowledge that Artisan GSN Modeler is managing the bigger picture. Within this multi-user environment, Safety Engineers can also lock sub-sections, preventing unintentional updates. Once a sub-section is complete it can be published and made available for use by other sub-sections. To clarify the various abstraction levels, Arguments are constructed hierarchically, using Goals, Strategies, Solutions, Assumptions, Justifications and Context elements.

As Safety Arguments are designed, Artisan GSN Modeler automatically validates them to ensure that they meet the basic rules of GSN modeling. Artisan GSN Modeler automatically and seamlessly manages the underlying processes involved in the creation of Arguments. As elements are created, parent/child relationships are automatically generated. Additional relationships can also be created allowing sub-sections of an argument to be linked together – simple drag and drop techniques are used to capture these design constructs. As Arguments are developed, each element is uniquely identified with a name and number. These numbers can be prefixed and configured by the user. As Arguments are evolved and restructured, the element numbers are automatically re-sequenced so that it matches the hierarchical structure, giving Argument consistency and saving significant time.

Artisan GSN Modeler also allows reusable Arguments Patterns to be created from best-practice Arguments or snippets of existing Arguments for use as future Argument templates. This re-use of proven Arguments both reduces the Safety Case development effort needed on new projects and improves Safety Case quality.

The Arguments designed and documented within Artisan GSN Modeler can be imported and exported using XML files. This enables Argument transfer between products, putting Safety Arguments in the hands of everyone who needs them.

Applicants for the Artisan GSN Modeler Early Availability Program are now being accepted.

About Artisan Software Tools
Artisan® Software Tools is the world’s largest independent supplier of industrial-grade, collaborative modeling tools for complex, mission-critical systems and software. Artisan has delivered a stable, robust working environment to thousands of users across an extensive range of complex applications in demanding sectors including military, aerospace and defense, automotive and transportation, telecommunications and electronics, and medical. Artisan’s standards-based tool suite, Artisan Studio®, provides comprehensive support for the leading industry standards, including OMG SysML, UML and Architectural Frameworks. Artisan’s VdsTM (V-Design System) provides a fully integrated, collaborative engineering framework for the trouble-free deployment and maintenance of best-in-class tools for mission and safety-critical systems and software development. Artisan’s tools deliver on the promise of an integrated collaborative development environment – allowing systems and software engineering teams to Work as OneTM – from concept through to delivery, maintenance and support. Founded in 1997 with extensive venture capital backing, Artisan is headquartered in the USA and UK with offices in Germany and Italy, supported by a global distributor network.

Artisan is part of the MISSA (More Integrated and cost effective Systems Safety Assessment) European 7th Framework Program to develop methods and tools to help safety engineers model Safety Cases in an efficient, auditable and exhaustive way. Artisan is partnered with Airbus, Alenia, Dassault, APSYS, ITCFBK-irst, Onera, Offis, Prover, QMUL, Thales and University of York on this program.

Artisan, Artisan Studio and Real-time Studio are Registered Trademarks of Artisan Software Tools. Work as One and Vds are Trademarks of Artisan Software Tools. UML is a Registered Trademark and OMG SysML a Trademark of the Object Management Group.