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Human-System Interaction in Autonomy (HSIA)
Although autonomous systems are capable to make their own decisions, there often will be humans involved in their operation. This may be as users, supervisors, or a bystander. With the research on Human-System Interaction (HSIA), we attempt to provide a generic modeling structure that can be fitted to the desired design and Level of Autonomy. The method relies on established risk modeling techniques: Fault trees, event trees, Bayesian belief networks, and task analysis. The method aims at obtaining comparable assessments and results for the comparison of different design solutions and a structure to guide risk assessments of autonomous systems.
The task analysis has been extended to suit the purpose of HSIA. In addition, generic fault trees have been developed that follow the Information-Decision-Action structure, similar to Phoenix human reliability assessment for the humans and the physical autonomous system.
Currently, HSIA as been applied to autonomous ships. Ongoing work extends both the methodological scope and the application area to other autonomous and highly automatic systems. My role in the research reaches from the methodological development to its application, with a focus on the hardware and software systems.
See the Publication Sections for more information on the HSIA method.
Unlocking the potential of supervisory risk control (UNLOCK)
The UNLOCK project aims at the improvement of autonomous systems' capabilities through the application of a risk-based approach towards system development. The research carried out is applied to underwater and airborne drones, in order to improve their decision-making capabilities and awareness of their own and the environment's condition.
Current work is aiming at identifying synergies between risk assessment methods and control approaches. The most promising approaches are tested on the above-mentioned case study objects. In the project, I am mainly involved in the risk assessment portion and the development of the methodological approach to combining control algorithms with risk models. The work is executed in close cooperation with the PhD candidates, for whom I take a supervisory role.
See the UNLOCK webpage for more information on the project, its participants, and its results.
International Workshop for Autonomous System Safety (IWASS)
The development of autonomous and "intelligent" systems progresses fast. Despite cars being different from ships and planes, their autonomous equivalents share some commonalities. With the International Workshop on Autonomous System Safety, we gather experts from different application areas and fields to discuss the challenges and possible solutions for them with respect to Safety, Reliability, and Security of autonomous systems.
For the purpose of the discussion, one day of the workshop is dedicated to the discussion and summarizing the results. In the first workshop, four topics have been discussed in detail.
Due to the COVID 19 epidemic, the second IWASS had to be moved to 2021 and will be held online. See the Workshops webpage to learn more about the Second IWASS. For the results of the first IWASS in 2019, please see its homepage. The proceedings of the second workshop can be found here.
Having co-created the idea of the workshop I am involved in the planning, organization, and preparation of the workshop. This includes writing of the Whitepaper, Final report, arranging workshop details, inviting participants, and acting as editor for the associated special issue.
The Autoferry project investigates the technical capabilities to create an uncrewed ferry. As part of the project, a fully functional and operational passenger is being built to transport 12 passengers over the harbor channel in Trondheim.
As part of the project, I have been involved in the hazard assessment of the ferry, as part of the risk documentation required by the Norwegian Maritime Authority. This includes the preparation of the workshops and their conduction, as well as the follow-up documentation of the results. Current work includes the investigation of safety and security synergies for efficient implementation in the ferry design.
Visit the AutoFerry's webpage to learn more about the project.
Accident Dynamic Simulator (ADS) extension
Involved since 2017
The Accident Dynamic SImulator has been developed throughout the last three decades. Current efforts are attempting to reorganize the available modules, extend their applicability to other application areas than nuclear power plants, and add new capabilities to the ADS.
The work is coordinated by the B. John Garrick Institute for the Risk Sciences. As part of the project, I am involved in the design and specification of the software module of the ADS. Moreover, I am involved in the development and specification of an updated engine of the ADS and an in-operation decision support module. This is based on previous work that I began at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) during my Doctoral studies.
See the Publication Sections for more information on the software risk assessment approach.
Risk analysis and modeling of Autonomous Marine Systems
In my doctoral studies at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), I worked on the assessment of risks for different autonomous marine systems. The work began on Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) and how their operation could be improved through a risk management approach. For this purpose, I investigated human interaction with such a system and used different risk analysis techniques to quantify these relationships.
With the increasing popularity of unmanned and autonomous ships, around 2015/16, I changed my focus towards the sea surface. For this purpose, I carried out an extensive survey of existing methods for the risk analysis of autonomous in order to map research directions to be further investigated. As a consequence, I worked on the contribution of software to the risk level during my research stay at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The work was concluded with the successful defense of my doctoral thesis in November 2018.
Please see my doctoral thesis for a more detailed description.
Risk management framework for subsea operation of AUV and ROV
2014 - 2015
In this project, I investigated the possibility to use risk management methods to improve the operational performance of underwater vehicles. In the pre-project, failure analysis of Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) operation of the NTNU AUR Lab was conducted. This information was used and combined with other sources to derive a list of hazards. In the further course of the project, the attention was changed to the Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV), in particular the operation of the REMUS 100 AUV. Based on the operator's experience and on the operational procedures a risk management framework was developed, tested, and proposed for implementation in the AUR Lab. The test application of the framework and proposed implementation are described in my Master Thesis. The test case study was revised and presented together with the general framework at OMAE 2015.