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Title: Formalised responsibility modelling for automated socio-technical systems analysis
Author: Simpson, Robbie
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2017
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Modelling the structure of social-technical systems as a basis for informing software system design is a difficult compromise. Formal methods struggle to capture the scale and complexity of the heterogeneous organisations that use technical systems. Conversely, informal approaches lack the rigour needed to inform the software design and construction process or enable automated analysis. We revisit the concept of responsibility modelling, which models social technical systems as a collection of actors who discharge their responsibilities, whilst using and producing resources in the process. In this thesis responsibility modelling is formalised as a structured approach for socio-technical system specification and modelling, with well-defined semantics and support for automated structure and validity analysis. We provide structured definitions for entity types and relations, and define the semantics of delegation and dependency. A constraint logic is introduced, providing simple specification of complex interactions between entities. Additionally, we introduce the ability to explicitly model uncertainty. To support this formalism, we present a new software toolkit that supports modelling and automatic analysis of responsibility models in both graphical and textual form. The new methodology is validated by applying it to case studies across different problem domains. A study of nuclear power station emergency planning is validated by comparison to a similar study performed with earlier forms of responsibility modelling, and a study of the TCAS mid-air collision avoidance system is validated by evaluation with domain experts. Additionally, we perform an explorative study of responsibility modelling understanding and applicability through a qualitative study of modellers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science ; QA76 Computer software