High-integrity agile processes for the development of safety critical software

Richard F. Paige, Andy Galloway, Ramon Charalambous, Xiaocheng Ge, Phillip J. Brooke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Typically, safety critical software systems are developed using plan-driven development processes. Agile processes have evolved to help reduce costs of software development and seek to minimise documentation overheads. For safety critical systems that must undergo certification, documentation is essential. The question this paper addresses is: can a process based on agile principles be used to deliver a safety critical software product, but also the evidence needed to satisfy assurance objectives? The paper makes three contributions. Firstly, it presents an analysis of agile processes and their applicability in this domain. It reviews positive indicators for their use, outlines challenges associated with their deployment and proposes strategies for addressing these challenges. Secondly, it makes a number of recommendations for adapting an agile process to the domain. Finally, the paper reports on an experiment to demonstrate the plausibility of using of an adapted agile process for building a safety critical software system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-216
Number of pages36
JournalInternational Journal of Critical Computer-Based Systems
Issue number2
Early online date14 Jul 2011
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


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