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Compliance-aware Engineering Process Plans: The case of Space Software Engineering Processes


Publication Type:

Journal article


Artificial Intelligence and Law





Safety-critical systems manufacturers have the duty of care, i.e., they should take correct steps while performing acts that could foreseeably harm others. Commonly, industry standards prescribe reasonable steps in their process requirements, which regulatory bodies trust. Manufacturers perform careful documentation of compliance with each requirement to show that they act under acceptable criteria. To facilitate this task, a safety-centered planning-time framework, called ACCEPT, has been proposed. Based on compliance-by-design, ACCEPT capabilities (i.e., processes and standards modeling, and automatic compliance checking) permit to design Compliance-aware Engineering Process Plans (CaEPP), which are able to show the planning-time allocation of standard demands, i.e., if the elements set down by the standard requirements are present at given points in the engineering process plan. In this paper, we perform a case study to understand if the ACCEPT produced models could support the planning of space software engineering processes. Space software is safety and mission-critical, and it is often the result of industrial cooperation. Such cooperation is coordinated through compliance with relevant standards. In the European context, ECSS-E-ST-40C is the de-facto standard for space software production. The planning of processes in compliance with project-specific ECSS-E-ST-40C applicable requirements is mandatory during contractual agreements. Our analysis is based on qualitative criteria targeting the effort dictated by task demands required to create a CaEPP for software development with ACCEPT. Initial observations show that the effort required to model compliance and processes artifacts is significant. However, such an effort pays off in the long term since models are, to some extend, reusable and flexible. The coverage level of the models is also analyzed based on design decisions. In our opinion, such a level is adequate since it responds to the information needs required by the ECSS-E-ST-40C framework.


@article{Castellanos Ardila6171,
author = {Julieth Patricia Castellanos Ardila and Barbara Gallina and Guido Governatori},
title = {Compliance-aware Engineering Process Plans: The case of Space Software Engineering Processes},
volume = {Online First Articles},
pages = {1--41},
month = {March},
year = {2021},
journal = {Artificial Intelligence and Law},
publisher = {Springer},
url = {}