[SystemSafety] Project concerning Terminology - Harbsafe

Peter Bernard Ladkin ladkin at causalis.com
Wed Apr 4 13:36:17 CEST 2018


Causalis is involved in a research project on terminology used in cybersecurity and safety. I have
regularly expressed my interest in the topic as exemplified in, for example,
https://rvs-bi.de/publications/RVS-Bk-17-01.html . The project partners are the Institute for
Traffic Safety and Automation Technology (IVA) at the Technical University of Braunschweig, and the
German organisation for electrotechnical standardisation DKE. Causalis is a subcontractor to TU
Braunschweig. (BTW, "Traffic" in the title also includes rail and air.)

Although IVA is in the mechanical engineering department, the people running the project at IVA are
linguists specialising in technical terminology, with whom we have worked on projects before. IVA
has built an engineering-terminology management system called iglos which we have used.

So far, the project has looked at standards documents in English concerning safety and security and
classified them into levels reflecting their domains of applicability. By far the majority of
documents are those produced by the IEC. We have already looked at key documents such as IEC 61508,
the IEC 62443 series, and IEC Guides 51 and 120, for the inclusion of safety, resp. security in IEC
standards, have extracted some 400 key concepts, and found about 70 concepts which are multiply
defined, some of them in contradictory ways.

Our hope is that our results will feed directly in to work on terminology at the DKE and at the IEC.

My linguist colleagues are trying to find out what engineers think the concepts mean in their
everyday work, and how related engineers think they are to each other. They have formulated a
questionnaire on concept similarity at https://harbsafe.tu-braunschweig.de/login/?next=/ .

I should like to ask members of this list to answer this questionnaire. And also, please, encourage
your engineering colleagues to do so as well.

Participating does require registration, so that IVA knows who has participated, but the results are

The project is funded largely by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, with
smaller contributions from TU Braunschweig and DKE themselves. The project results are and will be
entirely public (although some of them will be in German because that is how the Ministry likes its
reports :-) ). There is a interesting pseudo-3D rotating plot of the results so far of the
similarity questions, and IVA would like offer it on-line to everyone, but I think the sysadmins are
worried about managing the computational resources required, so it hasn't gone on-line yet.


Prof. Peter Bernard Ladkin, Bielefeld, Germany
Je suis Charlie
Tel+msg +49 (0)521 880 7319  www.rvs-bi.de

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