A Control Theory Approach for Analyzing the Effects of Data Errors in Safety-Critical Control Systems

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding


Computers are increasingly used for implementing controlalgorithms in safety-critical embedded applications, such asengine control, braking control and flight surfacecontrol. Addressing the consequent coupling of control performancewith computer related errors, this paper develops a composite computerdependability/control theory methodology for analyzing the effectsdata errors have on control system dependability. The effect is measured as theresulting control error (defined as the difference between the desired value ofa physical property andits actual value). We use maximum bounds on this measure as the criterion forcontrol system failure (i.e., if the control error exceeds a certain threshold,the system has failed).In this paper we a) present suitable models of computer faults for analysis of control level effects andrelated analysis methods, and b) apply traditional control theoryanalysis methods for understanding the effects of data errors onsystem dependability. An automobile slip-control brake-system is used as an example showing the viability of our approach.


  • Örjan Askerdal
  • Magnus Gäfvert
  • Martin Hiller
  • Neeraj Suri
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Control Engineering


  • control performance, control system dependability, control system failure, control theory approach, safety-critical embedded applications, system dependability, flight surface control, safety-critical control systems, engine control, automobile slip-control brake-system, braking control, control level effects, computer faults, computer related errors, composite computer dependability/control theory methodology, data errors
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPacific Rim International Symposium on Dependable Computing, 2002. Proceedings. 2002
PublisherIEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Print)0-7695-1852-4
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Publication categoryResearch

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