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IEEE SJ Special Issue - SSC 2014 : IEEE Systems Journal SI on System-Safety and Safety-Critical Systems


When N/A
Where N/A
Submission Deadline TBD

Call For Papers


Shrisha Rao, IIIT-BANGALORE, India,
Paul C. Hershey, RAYTHEON, USA,
Michael J. Hirsch, ISEA TEK, USA,


Safety, “The condition of being safe; freedom from danger, risk or injury,” is a concern for life in general, and an important issue in the design of complex systems in particular. While the precise nature of safety in relation to security is a matter of some debate, it may be said that safety is the property of a system not to misbehave (in some defined way) on its own, whilst security is its resistance to malicious actions. It is also accepted that safety is an emergent system property that must be “baked into the cake” in the design and construction of complex systems, and that it cannot be bolted on to an unsafe system later. Likewise, standards and practices for system operation that are framed for other objectives such as profitability or operational readiness do not necessarily ensure system safety, and safety may be in conflict with such other objectives, requiring a compromise approach. In particular, “safety-critical” systems are those where safety is considered as the paramount concern, where every design or operational conflict between safety and another objective such as availability, must be decided in favor of safety. The range of systems where safety is a concern is vast, and includes such diverse domains as aviation, oil and gas installations, power systems, medical devices and services, maritime, and military, along with many others. While every such domain has certain important features that call for a unique approach, it is quite fruitful to look for common threads in reasoning about safety in complex systems, and gain insights that are useful in a range of systems.

The IEEE Systems Journal will publish a special issue dedicated to system safety and safety-critical systems. The aim of this special issue is to present a collection of high-quality archival research papers that address theoretical and practical perspectives of the entire system life cycle, to help create safer systems. Papers that integrate multiple perspectives to take a larger system-level view, and papers that offer insights valid across different domains, will be preferred over papers that deal with specific technologies, theoretical concepts, and local perspectives. The topics of interest include, but are not restricted to:

• Functional safety
• Formal methods for safety in complex systems
• Hazard identification and assessment
• Software safety
• Human factors
• Man-machine interfaces and ergonomics
• Safety and systems engineering
• Safety standards and their evolution
• Safety audits and certification for critical systems
• Design innovations for safety
• Mitigation of natural and man-made disasters
• Safety cultures, policies, and practices
• Corporate governance for safety
• Safety in complex systems with legacy technologies


Authors are invited to submit original research contributions by following the detailed instructions given in the “Information for Authors” at In the cover letter, authors should explicitly state that the paper is submitted to the “Special Issue on System Safety and Safety-Critical Systems.” Questions about the special issue may be directed to the Guest Editors.


Paper submission deadline: June 30, 2014
Notification of first decisions: October 15, 2014
Revised paper submission: December 1, 2014
Notification of second reviews: February 1, 2015
Minor revision deadline: March 1, 2015
Final notification: April 1, 2015
Final manuscript: May 1, 2015
Expected publication: 2015/2016

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