Special Issue "Fault Trees and Attack Trees: Extensions, Solution Methods, and Applications"

A special issue of Information (ISSN 2078-2489). This special issue belongs to the section "Information Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Daniele Codetta Raiteri
Website
Guest Editor
Computer Science Institute, DiSIT, University of Piemonte Orientale, Alessandria, Italy
Interests: probabilistic graphical models; reliability; risk analysis; security
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Fault trees are a well-known model for the reliability analysis of systems, used to compute several kinds of qualitative and quantitative measures, such as minimal cut sets, system failure probability, sensitivity indices, etc. Fault trees represent the possible combinations of component failures leading to system failure by means of logic gates (or ports). During the years, fault trees have been extended to increase their modelling power and deal with component dependencies, multi-state components, repair, etc. The modelling elements introduced to this end, such as new gates, required the definition of new solving procedures, typically based on the fault tree conversion into other models, such as binary decision diagrams (BDD), Markov Chains, Petri nets, Bayesian networks, etc. Besides the application in reliability analysis, fault trees have been exploited to model attack modes and evaluate the security level of systems. In this field, they are called attack trees and have been extended to represent both attacks and countermeasures. Software tools and libraries for fault/attack trees have been developed and improved over the years. The goal of this Special Issue is to collect recent developments in fault/attack tree extensions, solution methods, software tools, and applications in reliability and security evaluation. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Extensions of fault/attack trees in terms of modelling power
  • Automatic generation of lower-level models from fault/attack trees
  • Fault/attack tree analysis methods
  • Repair modelling in fault trees
  • Defence modelling in attack trees
  • Solution methods for fault/attack trees
  • Software tools for fault/attack tree design and analysis
  • Applications of fault/attack trees in real case studies

Dr. Daniele Codetta-Raiteri
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Reliability Dynamic Analysis by Fault Trees and Binary Decision Diagrams
Information 2020, 11(6), 324; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11060324 - 15 Jun 2020
Abstract
New wind turbines are becoming more complex and reliability analysis of them rising in complexity. The systems are composed of many components. Fault tree is used as an useful tool to analyze these interrelations and provide a scheme of the wind turbine, to [...] Read more.
New wind turbines are becoming more complex and reliability analysis of them rising in complexity. The systems are composed of many components. Fault tree is used as an useful tool to analyze these interrelations and provide a scheme of the wind turbine, to get a quick overview of the behavior of the system under certain conditions of the components. However, it is complicated and in some cases not possible, to identify the conditions that would generate a wind turbine failure. A quantitative and qualitative reliability analysis of the wind turbine is proposed in this study. Binary decision diagrams are employed as a suitable and operational method to facilitate this analysis and to get an analytical expression by the Boolean functions. The size of the binary decision diagram, i.e., the computational cost for solving the problem, has an important dependence on the order of the components or events considered. Different heuristic ranking methods are used to find an optimal order or one closed, and to validate the results: AND, level, top-down-left-right, deep-first search and breadth-first-search. Birnbaum and criticality importance measures are proposed to evaluate the relevance of each component. This analysis leads to classify the events according to their importance with respect to the probability of the top event. This analysis provides the basis for making medium and long-term maintenance strategies. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
SAVTA: A Hybrid Vehicular Threat Model: Overview and Case Study
Information 2020, 11(5), 273; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11050273 - 19 May 2020
Abstract
In recent years, significant developments were introduced within the vehicular domain, evolving the vehicles to become a network of many embedded systems which depend on a set of sensors to interact with each other and with the surrounding environment. While these improvements have [...] Read more.
In recent years, significant developments were introduced within the vehicular domain, evolving the vehicles to become a network of many embedded systems which depend on a set of sensors to interact with each other and with the surrounding environment. While these improvements have increased the safety and incontestability of the automotive system, they have opened the door for new potential security threats which need to be defined, assessed, and mitigated. The SAE J3061 standard has defined threat modeling as a critical step toward the secure development process for vehicle systems, but it did not determine which method could be used to achieve this process. Therefore, many threat modeling approaches were adopted. However, using one individual approach will not identify all the threats which could target the system, and may lead to insufficient mitigation mechanisms. Thus, having complete security requires the usage of a comprehensive threat model which identifies all the potential threats and vulnerabilities. In this work, we tried to revise the existing threat modeling efforts in the vehicular domain. Also, we proposed using a hybrid method called the Software, Asset, Vulnerability, Threat, and Attacker (SAVTA)-centric method to support security analysis for vehicular systems. SAVTA combines different existing threat modeling approaches to create a comprehensive and hybridized threat model. The model is used as an aid to construct general attack trees which illustrate attack vectors that threaten a particular vehicle asset and classify these attacks under different sub-trees. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Importance Analysis of Components of a Multi-Operational-State Power System Using Fault Tree Models
Information 2020, 11(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11010029 - 05 Jan 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
This article describes a case study using a fault tree analysis for a multi-operational-state system (system with several operational states) model with many different technical solutions for the power system of a fishing vessel. We describe the essence of system dependability metamodeling. A [...] Read more.
This article describes a case study using a fault tree analysis for a multi-operational-state system (system with several operational states) model with many different technical solutions for the power system of a fishing vessel. We describe the essence of system dependability metamodeling. A vector of external events was used to construct a detailed metamodel, depending on the operational status being modeled. In a fault tree, individual external events modify the structure of a system. The analysis includes the following operational states: sea voyages of a vessel, hauling in and paying out nets, trawling, staying in a port, and heaving to. For each operational state and assumed system configurations, the importance of system components was determined by calculating the Vesely–Fussell measures. The most important components for each operational state of a system were determined, and the critical system components, that is, those that are important in every operational state and system configuration, were identified. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Decision Diagram Algorithms to Extract Minimal Cutsets of Finite Degradation Models
Information 2019, 10(12), 368; https://doi.org/10.3390/info10120368 - 25 Nov 2019
Abstract
In this article, we propose decision diagram algorithms to extract minimal cutsets of finite degradation models. Finite degradation models generalize and unify combinatorial models used to support probabilistic risk, reliability and safety analyses (fault trees, attack trees, reliability block diagrams…). They formalize a [...] Read more.
In this article, we propose decision diagram algorithms to extract minimal cutsets of finite degradation models. Finite degradation models generalize and unify combinatorial models used to support probabilistic risk, reliability and safety analyses (fault trees, attack trees, reliability block diagrams…). They formalize a key idea underlying all risk assessment methods: states of the models represent levels of degradation of the system under study. Although these states cannot be totally ordered, they have a rich algebraic structure that can be exploited to extract minimal cutsets of models, which represent the most relevant scenarios of failure. The notion of minimal cutsets we introduce here generalizes the one defined for fault trees. We show how algorithms used to calculate minimal cutsets can be lifted up to finite degradation models, thanks to a generic decomposition theorem and an extension of the binary decision diagrams technology. We discuss the implementation and performance issues. Finally, we illustrate the interest of the proposed technology by means of the use case stemmed from the oil and gas industry. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Modelling and Resolution of Dynamic Reliability Problems by the Coupling of Simulink and the Stochastic Hybrid Fault Tree Object Oriented (SHyFTOO) Library
Information 2019, 10(9), 283; https://doi.org/10.3390/info10090283 - 11 Sep 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Dependability assessment is one of the most important activities for the analysis of complex systems. Classical analysis techniques of safety, risk, and dependability, like Fault Tree Analysis or Reliability Block Diagrams, are easy to implement, but they estimate inaccurate dependability results due to [...] Read more.
Dependability assessment is one of the most important activities for the analysis of complex systems. Classical analysis techniques of safety, risk, and dependability, like Fault Tree Analysis or Reliability Block Diagrams, are easy to implement, but they estimate inaccurate dependability results due to their simplified hypotheses that assume the components’ malfunctions to be independent from each other and from the system working conditions. Recent contributions within the umbrella of Dynamic Probabilistic Risk Assessment have shown the potential to improve the accuracy of classical dependability analysis methods. Among them, Stochastic Hybrid Fault Tree Automaton (SHyFTA) is a promising methodology because it can combine a Dynamic Fault Tree model with the physics-based deterministic model of a system process, and it can generate dependability metrics along with performance indicators of the physical variables. This paper presents the Stochastic Hybrid Fault Tree Object Oriented (SHyFTOO), a Matlab® software library for the modelling and the resolution of a SHyFTA model. One of the novel features discussed in this contribution is the ease of coupling with a Matlab® Simulink model that facilitates the design of complex system dynamics. To demonstrate the utilization of this software library and the augmented capability of generating further dependability indicators, three different case studies are discussed and solved with a thorough description for the implementation of the corresponding SHyFTA models. Full article
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