Failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA), is a widely used deductive failure analysis for safety critical systems. Since modern safety critical systems tend to increased complexity, automation and tool support have a long history in research and industry. Whereas compact embedded systems can be analyzed using FMEA in a manually maintained table using for example a spreadsheet application, complex systems easily result in an unmanageable long table especially when larger development teams are involved. During the application of the methodology in industry, two central problems were observed. First, textually described effects are interpreted differently and lead to inconsistencies. Second, one component often is used multiple times in a system, e.g. in electronic circuits where huge circuits are build using a small number of electronic devices. Each implementation of a component results in the same failure modes in a FMEA. Manually inserting them is error prone and adding a new failure mode to an existing component can be very time consuming. Therefore, we describe here a meta model that is capable to solve the aforementioned problems of different inconsistencies and analyze the benefits of this meta model in a tool implementation along with a case study.
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