Validas — Tool and Library Qualification

Validas — Tool and Library Qualification

By Oscar Slotosch
As experts in the creation of safe software systems, in this podcast we answer all the questions about tool and library qualification. Each episode guides you through a crucial topic via discussions, interpretations, and examples given by safety professionals in Validas and beyond, and there’s something for everyone — from specialists to beginners!

Our podcast spans the gap between the basic safety standards and new safety products on the market; we’ve created it for you, so contact us at podcast@validas.de with comments, questions, or suggestions of topics you’d like to learn about.
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Episode 33: ISO 26262
In this episode Dr. Oscar Slotosch brings you an introduction to ISO 26262, the crucial safety standard used in the automotive industry — and one of Oscar’s fields of expertise. Join us to understand the purpose and role of ISO 26262, but also to learn about the concepts of the Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL), the Hazard Analysis and Risk Assessment (HARA), and the Safety Element out of Context (SEooC). Whether you are new to safety standards or curious about the minute changes in the revised version of ISO 26262, this episode has something for you. You can find the ISO 26262 standard here and learn details about IEC 61508, which Oscar calls the mother of all safety standards, here. If you would like to learn more about safety standards, join us in our Episode 06: Safety Standards, if you would like to hear about the details of the ISO 26262 safety standard, listen to Question 01: Did ISO 26262 abolish tool qualification in its second edition? and Episode 07: Tool Confidence Level, or join us for Oscar’s interview with Dr. Philipp Robbel, in Episode 31: Safety of C++ Exceptions — Deep Dive with Mapless AI.
31:05
August 3, 2020
Question 04: Do famous tools need to be qualified?
Do all tools need to be qualified, or can we simply trust the famous ones that have been used successfully in thousands of different environments? Tune in to our fourth short question episode to learn from Dr. Oscar Slotosch about why even famous tools need to be treated with care and where computer bugs really come from. For an introduction to qualification, listen to our Episode 01: Why Tool Qualification? and Episode 12: Qualification Test Strategies, and if you would like to join us for another question episode, tune in to Question 03: How can we detect whether we are using a qualified tool?
04:34
July 27, 2020
Episode 32: Effective Mitigation Strategy
Effective mitigation measures, which have been introduced in part 7.4.4.8 of the second edition of the IEC 61508 standard, are crucial to efficient safety planning — but to construct an effective mitigation strategy, we first need to understand its precise definition in relevant safety standards and what the use of mitigations means for its required workload. In this episode Dr. Oscar Slotosch shares his experience with successful mitigation strategies, discusses Validas’s automated approach to mitigation planning, and explains what effective mitigation really means in practice. To learn more about existing safety standards and how to adhere to them, listen to our Episode 06: Safety Standards and Episode 29: Safety Compliance, and if you would like to discover details on Validas’s approach to modeling for safety-relevant projects, join us in Episode 11: Tool Chain Analyzer.
22:04
July 20, 2020
Episode 31: Safety of C++ Exceptions — Deep Dive with Mapless AI
This episode brings you a special discussion of C++ exceptions, in which Dr. Oscar Slotosch and Jakob Riedle of Validas joined forces with Dr. Philipp Robbel, Principal of Mapless AI, an up-and-coming company conducting research in applied artificial intelligence and autonomous system safety. Tune in to learn about the way C++ exceptions are handled in safety-critical projects, which requirements common safety standards have for their use, and how Mapless AI integrates exceptions in their projects — creating safe autonomy that doesn’t rely on maps. If you would like to contact Philipp or learn more about his work, visit Mapless.AI. To hear Oscar’s earlier discussion on C++ with Jakob, listen to our Episode 28: ForeC++ — Test Case Generator, to enjoy Oscar’s introduction to the ISO 26262 safety standard, listen to Episode 33: ISO 26262, and to learn more about C and C++ compilers, join us in Episode 20: SuperTest with Marcel Beemster (Solid Sands).
32:05
June 23, 2020
Episode 30: Proces Modeling Tool
One of the most useful results of Validas’s research projects is PMT, the Process Modeling Tool used to fully model and manage safety-relevant processes at Validas. In this episode Dr. Oscar Slotosch talks about the development and implementation of some of its most useful features — from the ability to graphically depict a project’s safety plan, to its automated ticket generation. To freely access and use this tool for your own projects, visit Validas’s PMT webpage, and to learn more about its application within the Linux Validation Kit, enjoy a recording of Oscar’s talk: Safety Plan for Linux Validation Kit. For an interesting discussion on research projects that are currently being developed at Validas, listed to some of our previous episodes, Episode 22: Validas — a Conversation between Dr. Oscar Slotosch and Dr. Peter Braunand Episode 28: ForeC++ — Test Case Generator.
28:17
June 8, 2020
Episode 29: Safety Compliance
In this week’s episode Dr. Oscar Slotosch discusses the details of safety compliance and its role in safety-relevant software projects. Join us to learn what safety standards require in terms of compliance, what is meant by safety integrity, why compliance reports should always be included your projects, and what procedure Validas uses to ensure compliance — efficiently and reliably. Join us in Episode 30, where we talk about the Validas Process Modeling Tool (PMT) and its role in safety compliance argumentation, learn about effective mitigation strategies in Episode 32, or brush up on the basics by listening to our Episode 04: Qualification Processes and Episode 06: Safety Standards.
24:13
May 22, 2020
Episode 28: ForeC++ — Test Case Generator
To successfully test a tool or a library, especially in safety-relevant projects, it is crucial to test for all important cases; in some situations, this can become increasingly difficult to do without automation. In this episode Dr. Oscar Slotosch discusses the usage and purpose of test case generators with Jakob Riedle, who has spent the past two years developing ForeC++ — Validas’s own test case generator. Join us to learn about the biggest challenges in creating a test case generator, how these tools can help you comply with safety standards, and what Jakob has done to develop ForeC++ to its current form. If you would like to learn more about the intricacies of test strategies, listen to our Episode 12: Qualification Test Strategies, to hear Jakob and Oscar continue their discussion of C++ in safety-relevant projects, listen to Episode 31: Safety of C++ Exceptions — Deep Dive with Mapless AI, and to explore more exciting projects at Validas, listen to Episode 22: Validas — a Conversation between Dr. Oscar Slotosch and Dr. Peter Braun.
31:00
May 10, 2020
Episode 27: Compiler Qualification
After a crucial introduction to the role of code coverage in qualification, in our Episode 26, Dr. Oscar Slotosch gives an in-depth analysis of the methods, procedures, and pitfalls in the qualification of compilers. Join us to learn which properties of compilers make them so difficult to qualify, why source code coverage doesn’t provide a sufficient argument for qualification, where it is likely to find flows in existing test strategies for compiler qualification — and how Validas approaches these complex problems. To hear Oscar’s conversation with Marcel Beemster about compiler qualification strategies, listen to Episode 20: SuperTest with Marcel Beemster (Solid Sands), for a refresher on qualification test strategies, join us in our Episode 12: Qualification Test Strategies, and to check out the Arm functional safety C library Oscar mentioned as a great example of a qualified library within a qualified compiler, click here. If you are wondering whether non-deterministic compilers can also be qualified, we have answered that question for you in one of our short episodes: Question 02: Can a non-deterministic compiler be qualified?
32:44
April 29, 2020
Episode 26: Code Coverage in Qualification
In this episode Dr. Oscar Slotosch discusses the role of code coverage in the qualification of tools and libraries. Tune in to learn about how code coverage is applied in a safety analysis, the importance of the modified condition/decision coverage (MCDC) criterion in software testing, and why code coverage analysis is strongly recommended, but almost never required by modern safety standards. To learn more about the applications of code coverage in qualification, listen to our Episode 27: Compiler Qualification, where we showcase an in-depth analysis of the methods, procedures, and pitfalls in the qualification of compilers.
25:11
April 20, 2020
Episode 25: Qualification Kit — QKit
Despite the restrictions imposed by the ongoing global pandemic, the work at Validas continues — even if it is from home — and this includes our podcast. In this episode we return to the basics to discuss qualification kits and, in particular, Validas’s own QKit. Join us to learn how the first instance of QKit was developed, which features of a qualification kit are useful for a customer, and how you can recognize a bad one. For more insight into qualification kits, listen to some of our previous episodes: Episode 12: Qualification Test Strategies and Episode 15: What Is a Good QKit?
22:50
April 13, 2020
Episode 24: Tool Chain Modeling with Robert Reitmeier
To expand on our last episode, in which we discussed tool chains, Dr. Oscar Slotosch talks to Robert Reitmeier — Validas’s own expert on tool chain modeling. In this episode Robert explains each step of the process of tool chain modeling for safety-relevant projects, shares tips on how to use Validas’s Tool Chain Analyzer to its full power, and reveals what new features his team is soon hoping to develop. To learn about the role of tool chain analysis, listen to Episode 23: Tool Chains, and to find out more about Validas’s tool chain analysis software, listen to Episode 11: Tool Chain Analyzer.
26:27
March 9, 2020
Episode 23: Tool Chains
Tool chains are more than just sets of interconnected tools — in a safety analysis, they are often the crucial component, albeit not one that is trivial to manage. In this episode we discuss why we should be paying attention to tool chains when building a software project, how tool chains should be documented, and what requirements safety standards impose on their definition. In our next episode we explore the practical matters in tool chain modeling with Validas’s own Robert Reitmeier — give it a listen at Episode 24: Tool Chain Modeling with Robert Reitmeier.
22:02
February 26, 2020
Episode 22: Validas — a Conversation between Dr. Oscar Slotosch and Dr. Peter Braun
If you have been listening to our podcast, you might have wondered about Validas — the types of projects we work on and the mission of Validas in the world of tool and library qualification. You’re in luck; the two CEOs of Validas, Dr. Oscar Slotosch and Dr. Peter Braun, have come together to discuss the successes and challenges of their company, the types of customers they work with, their favorite research projects, and the future of Validas itself. To learn more about why we do what we do, listen to our first episode, Episode 01: Why Tool Qualification?
36:06
February 13, 2020
Episode 21: How to Save Money by Tool Qualification
In safety-relevant projects, you either need to mitigate for potential errors each time you interact with a tool or you need to qualify it — but can tool qualification save you money? In this episode Dr. Oscar Slotosch explains how to correctly evaluate whether all the cost and effort put toward mitigation can be lessened by a well thought out tool qualification, and how to find out if you could be saving money by using qualified tools. To learn more about tool qualification and why it matters, listen to our overview episode: Episode 01: Why Tool Qualification?
17:55
January 28, 2020
Episode 20: SuperTest with Marcel Beemster (Solid Sands)
In this episode, Dr. Oscar Slotosch sat down for a conversation with Marcel Beemster, the CTO of Solid Sands— the one-stop-shop for C and C++ compiler and library testing, validation, and safety services. They discuss all the things that can go wrong with a compiler, where the biggest challenges in compiler use come from, and how Marcel and his team use the Solid Sands’ SuperTest validation suite. Tune in to learn about compiler development and testing from Oscar and Marcel. More information on Solid Sands and SuperTest can be found on https://solidsands.com/supertest. For an in-depth look at the qualification strategies for compilers and the use of code coverage in qualification argumentation, listen to two of our newer episodes: Episode 26: Code Coverage in Qualification and Episode 27: Compiler Qualification.
24:52
January 15, 2020
Episode 19: Confidence
What is confidence in the safety of tools and libraries, and how do you buy or create it for your own products? Within safety standards, confidence is a clearly defined technical term, but it relies on subjective evaluation — so how can you be confident in the safety of the tools you use? In this episode Dr. Oscar Slotosch explains the importance of confidence for safety-critical projects and reflects on the focus recent safety standards have begun to give it. To learn more about how confidence is determined, listen to Episode 07: Tool Confidence Level, and to explore the details of how safety standards define confidence, check out Episode 06: Safety Standards.
18:21
November 11, 2019
Question 03: How can we detect whether we are using a qualified tool?
How can you tell if the tool you are using has been qualified? Tune in to our third bonus question episode with Dr. Oscar Slotosch to find out how this complicated question can have a simple answer. To find out more about the reliability of your tools, join us in Question 04: Do famous tools need to be qualified?, and for an introduction to qualification, listen to our full-length episode: Episode 01: Why Tool Qualification?
03:28
November 4, 2019
Episode 18: Tool Safety Manual
In this week’s episode, Dr. Oscar Slotosch explores the importance of the Tool Safety Manual — an essential part of qualification documentation and the only resource the end user has to help them use a tool safely. Learn how tool safety manuals are created and how you can use them responsibly, but also what it is that makes a tool safety manual good. At the end of this episode, Oscar announces a special project: Validas’s online database of good tool qualification kits. To learn more about the documents used with a well-qualified tool, listen to our Episode 14: Qualification Documents.
21:56
October 28, 2019
Question 02: Can a non-deterministic compiler be qualified?
Even though non-deterministic compilers may not be ideal for use in a safety-relevant project, they can still be qualified. Our new question episode goes beyond the usual topics of compiler qualification and answers the question of whether — and how — non-deterministic compilers can be qualified. For a detailed discussion on compiler qualification, join us in Episode 27: Compiler Qualification, or listen to our interview episode in which Dr. Oscar Slotosch and Marcel Beemster of Solid Sands discuss compiler testing strategies: Episode 20: SuperTest with Marcel Beemster (Solid Sands).
07:39
October 21, 2019
Question 01: Did ISO 26262 abolish tool qualification in its second edition?
Did ISO 26262 abolish tool qualification in its second edition? In our first bonus episode, Dr. Oscar Slotosch explains why the answer is quite to the contrary — the second edition of ISO 26262 has put an even stronger emphasis on tool qualification. To learn more about ISO 26262 and other safety standards, listen to our full-length episodes, Episode 33: ISO 26262 and Episode 06: Safety Standards.
06:08
October 7, 2019
Episode 16: Library Qualification
Unlike tools, libraries are elements in software development that get directly used in a finished product — therefore, their reliability and safety is paramount. In this episode Dr. Oscar Slotosch introduces you to the topic of library qualification and explains what makes it so crucial. Join us to learn how to safely use publicly available libraries, how Validas qualifies libraries, which special properties must be checked in library qualification, and much more. To go back to the basics and learn more about what makes libraries special in terms of qualification, listen to Episode 02: Definitions.
22:00
September 30, 2019
Episode 15: What Is a Good QKit?
What is a good qualification and how can you recognize it? In this episode Dr. Oscar Slotosch shares his experience and insights on what makes a QKit good — and what makes it bad. Does it save you time and money, or does it sow doubt in your users? Join us and learn how to recognize the crucial elements of a good, reliable qualification. To learn how effective qualification can make your safety-relevant project better and less expensive, listen to our Episode 21: How to Save Money by Tool Qualification, and to learn more about qualification kits, check out Episode 25: Qualification Kit — QKit.
17:32
September 16, 2019
Episode 14: Qualification Documents
Creating and maintaining a reliable set of qualification documents is one of the most important tasks of a tool provider or user. In this episode we delve into the topic of documentation, list the mandatory and recommended documents that should be included in every qualification, and discuss how different types of qualification require different approaches in documentation. Oscar also includes a few stories and talks about Validas’s perspective on why good documentation matters. A highlight of Validas’s qualification framework is QKit, the qualification kit that makes your safety-relevant project easy to manage and generates its documentation automatically. Learn more about what you can do using QKit in Episode 15: What Is a Good QKit? and Episode 25: Qualification Kit — QKit. For more details about a crucial part of qualification documentation, listen to Episode 18: Tool Safety Manual.
22:01
September 2, 2019
Episode 13: Tool Certification
This episode features an interview with Claudio Gregorio, a functional safety expert working at TÜV SÜD — a leading independent technical service provider. To understand Claudio’s role and duties in the assessment and certification of software components, Dr. Oscar Slotosch puts himself in the shoes of a tool provider and finds out the answers to all his burning questions on certificates, safety manuals, and the relationship between certification authorities and software tool providers. To learn more about the functional safety services of TÜV SÜD, visit their website or send an inquiry to functional-safety@tuvsud.com.
24:23
August 19, 2019
Episode 12: Qualification Test Strategies
This week’s episode is an introduction to qualification test strategies — join Dr. Oscar Slotosch to learn about qualification testing and how it differs from quality testing, how a test strategy is designed, and what principles should be followed when deciding how many test cases to run. In this episode we will also help you determine the exact number of test cases required for an efficient qualification test. Learn about the basics of qualification testing in Episode 04: Qualification Processes and Episode 26: Code Coverage in Qualification, immerse yourself into a detailed discussion of test strategies for compiler qualification in our Episode 27: Compiler Qualification, or learn about Validas’s own test case generator in Episode 28: ForeC++ — Test Case Generator.
19:50
July 29, 2019
Episode 11: Tool Chain Analyzer
The Tool Chain Analyzer (TCA) is a crucial part of Validas’s framework — it is used to model complex tool chain features and their dependencies, with the ultimate goal of making your qualification project as simple and as automated as possible. In this week’s episode, Dr. Oscar Slotosch explains why the way you model your tool chain matters and how the TCA is usually used for safety-relevant projects, but also shares news about the TCA features that are currently in development at Validas. To try out Validas’s free TCA version and participate in an online training session, visit http://www.validas.de/en/services/tca/. For an in-depth look at the exciting projects that we are currently developing, listen to our Episode 30: Process Modeling Tool or the discussion between the founders of Validas: Episode 22: Validas — a Conversation between Dr. Oscar Slotosch and Dr. Peter Braun.
16:51
July 22, 2019
Episode 10: Tool Qualification Workshop
Have you been thinking about creating a tool qualification roadmap for your own software? It all starts with the tool qualification workshop! This week, Dr. Oscar Slotosch explains what you can expect at a workshop: who should participate, what topics are covered, how long it takes, and what it will result in. For a detailed discussion of the tool qualification roadmap, listen to our previous episode: Episode 09: Tool Qualification Roadmap, and to learn more about the work of Validas, check out Episode 22: Validas — a Conversation between Dr. Oscar Slotosch and Dr. Peter Braun.
16:48
July 15, 2019
Episode 09: Tool Qualification Roadmap
In this week’s episode, Dr. Oscar Slotosch takes us on a journey through the tool qualification roadmap — where do you start when you want to ensure your software is safe to use, which parts of the project are crucial, and how does Validas approach the safety analysis of new software? Learn all that and much more by joining us through the Tool and Library Qualification podcast! In our next episode, we explain what you can expect at a tool qualification workshop with Validas — and how it can help you design an effective tool qualification roadmap. Have a listen at Episode 10: Tool Qualification Workshop.
17:21
July 8, 2019
Episode 08: Tool Detection
In this episode we tackle TD, or tool detection, the process of determining how likely it is that potential errors in software tools will be detected. Tune in to learn how TD is used to reach a tool confidence level (TCL), the details of how it is determined, whose responsibility it is to investigate TD levels, and why some of these levels might lead to more reliable software than others. To learn more the importance of a well-chosen tool confidence level, listen to our Episode 07: Tool Confidence Level, and for a detailed view on the planning structure of tool and library qualification, check out our Episode 04: Qualification Processes.
17:32
July 1, 2019
Episode 07: Tool Confidence Level
When using a software tool or compiler in a safety-relevant project, it’s important to be confident in its results — using the ISO 26262 safety standard, we call this reliability the tool confidence level (TCL). In this episode, Oscar explains how TCL classes are determined and how they affect the tool usage, why you wouldn’t want the lowest TCL for your product, and where TCL classification might be more trouble than expected. To learn about the role of confidence and classes in safety-relevant projects, listen to Episode 03: Classification and Episode 19: Confidence, and for an informed look at the effects of the ISO 26262 safety standard, check out our Episode 33: ISO 26262 or Question 01: Did ISO 26262 abolish tool qualification in its second edition?
21:12
June 24, 2019
Episode 06: Safety Standards
After our Whit Monday break, this week we tackle the hefty topic of safety standards! Join Dr. Oscar Slotosch as he leads you through the usage of safety standards and their application to the development of different types of software, as well as the difficult questions of what is an acceptable risk and how we should think about the safety of new technologies. In Episode 29: Safety Compliance, we go further into the details of compliance as defined by safety standards, in episode Episode 33: ISO 26262 we discuss the ins and outs of the ubiquitous standard of the automotive industry, and in our short episode, Question 01: Did ISO 26262 abolish tool qualification in its second edition?, we explain the effects of the second edition of the ISO 26262 safety standard on tool qualification. To learn more about the topic of mitigation, listen to our Episode 32: Effective Mitigation Strategy.
19:28
June 17, 2019
Episode 05: Qualification Roles
Tool users, tool providers, safety experts, and developers — what role do they have in the qualification processes and whose responsibility is it to ensure a tool is safe? If you’ve ever been puzzled by this nomenclature, join us in this week’s episode, in which Dr. Oscar Slotosch breaks down the crucial roles involved in qualification and shares his insights on their importance. To see the big picture and the responsibility of each role in a qualification process, listen to our Episode 09: Tool Qualification Roadmap.
19:00
June 3, 2019
Episode 04: Qualification Processes
Join us in this week’s episode to learn about all the qualification processes necessary for a good tool or library qualification. Dr. Oscar Slotosch discusses the ins and outs of a standard qualification, the preparation that comes before qualification, and how building QKits just might increase the quality of your projects! In our next episode, Episode 05: Qualification Roles, we discuss the responsibilities of each role in a qualification process, and in Episode 09: Tool Qualification Roadmap we explore the big picture of qualification. If you wish to learn more about QKits, check out our Episode 25: Qualification Kit — QKit and Episode 15: What Is a Good QKit?
17:16
May 27, 2019
Episode 03: Classification
In our third episode, Dr. Oscar Slotosch explains why tools need to be classified before they are qualified, where the classification rules are determined, and which class you really want your tools to be in. Join us to learn how to perform a classification, how to wrangle error mitigations, and why classes in avionics hold extra weight! For a detail look at how smart classification affects the safety of your tools, listen to our Episode 07: Tool Confidence Level.
18:20
May 20, 2019
Episode 02: Definitions
In our second episode, we set the stage and define all the topics crucial in the business of qualification: tools, libraries, safety standards, classification, and qualification itself. What methods can you use to claim a tool or library is safe and where do the most obscure problems always pop up? Join us to find out! For an in-depth look at these important topics, listen to some of our later episodes: Episode 03: Classification, Episode 06: Safety Standards, Episode 09: Tool Qualification Roadmap, and Episode 16: Library Qualification.
18:42
May 13, 2019
Episode 01: Why Tool Qualification?
In our first podcast episode, we introduce the topic of tool qualification — the main area of expertise of both Validas and our host, Dr. Oscar Slotosch. Why do we qualify tools, when did we start paying attention to tool safety, and how difficult of a task is it to ensure human life isn’t put in danger by unreliable software? Learn about all that and much more in our Tool and Library Qualification podcast! For details on how tool qualification can help you create a more efficient product, listen to our Episode 21: How to Save Money by Tool Qualification, and to learn whether you are using qualified tools for your own projects, listen to our short question episodes: Question 03: How can we detect whether we are using a qualified tool? and Question 04: Do famous tools need to be qualified?
16:30
May 3, 2019
Episode 0: Overview
As experts in the creation of safe software systems, in this podcast hosted by Dr. Oscar Slotosch we answer all the questions in the field of tool and library qualification. Each episode guides you through a crucial topic via discussions, interpretations, and examples given by safety professionals in Validas and beyond, and there’s something for everyone — from specialists to beginners! Our podcast spans the gap between the basic safety standards and new safety products on the market; we’ve created it for you, so contact us at podcast@validas.de with comments, questions, or suggestions of topics you’d like to learn about.
04:31
May 1, 2019