NIU Ru, CAO Yuan, GE Xiaocheng, TANG Tao. Applying System Thinking to Learn from Accident of Modern Automatic Control Systems[J]. Chinese Journal of Electronics, 2014, 23(2): 409-414.
Citation: NIU Ru, CAO Yuan, GE Xiaocheng, TANG Tao. Applying System Thinking to Learn from Accident of Modern Automatic Control Systems[J]. Chinese Journal of Electronics, 2014, 23(2): 409-414.

Applying System Thinking to Learn from Accident of Modern Automatic Control Systems

Funds:  This work was supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No.2013JBM125, No.2012JBZ014), National High Technology Research and Development Program (863 plan) (No.2012AA112801), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.61110296), and the Specialized Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education (No.20130009120034).
  • Received Date: 2013-02-01
  • Rev Recd Date: 2013-04-01
  • Publish Date: 2014-04-05
  • Modern societies increasingly rely on automatic control systems. These systems are hardly pure technical systems; instead they are complex socio-technical systems, which consist of technical elements and social components. It is necessary to have a systematic approach to analyze these systems because it is growing evidence that accidents from these systems usually have complex causal factors which form an interconnected network of events, rather than a simple cause-effect chain. We take railway Train control systems (TCS) as an example to demonstrate the importance of the socio-technical approach to analyze the system. The paper presents an investigation of recent high-speed railway accident by applying STAMP -one of the most notable socio-technical system analysis techniques, outlines improvements to the system which could avoid similar accidents in the future. We also provide our valuable feedback for the use of STAMP.
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