Informatics at TU Clausthal > Divisions > Research > Model-based Diagnosis of Rail Automation Systems

Model-based Diagnosis of Rail Automation Systems

Project partners

Siemens AG Mobility Division, Braunschweig


The purpose of automated monitoring and fault diagnosis of railway systems is to detected failures as early as possible and to support the subsequent restoration measures. This contributes to a minimisation of failure-related down-times and the fullfilment of high quality expectations by customers.

The execution of any diagnostic procedure requires a broad knowledge of the functional and structural dependencies within the target system. This task is influenced by several factors:

  • the ever-increasing complexity and diversity of target systems
  • the high ratio of third-party and legacy components to be diagnosed

The concept of model-based diagnosis poses a promising approach to the systematic capture and analysis of diagnostic knowledge. The use of explicit models of a system's structure and behavior allows us to trace deviant system observations directly to causing components.

In cooperation with Siemens Mobility Division Braunschweig, we apply model-based diagnostic methods to different application areas, such as:

  • interlockings
  • rail automation and safety systems
  • on-board systems of railway vehicles

The manifold of application areas demands a very powerful yet flexible approach which can be adapted to different requirements and conditions. Besides technical complexities, the effort required for the creation and management of model libraries is considered a key factor.

The goal of this project is to devise a practical diagnostic procedure, to define a systematic and component-oriented approach to modelling, to clarify the constraints of an adaption to existing techniques, and to evaluate the results based on a conceptual prototype and case studies. Further, the estimation and optimisation of efforts and an early assessment of diagnostic system properties are of particular interest.

Current research topics

  • modelling of systems based on causal mechanisms (especially: symptom propagation and transformation)
  • domain-specific modeling and language development (using the Eclipse Modeling Framework and Xtext)
  • model-driven software development of tools and tool chains
  • early assessment of diagnosability of technical systems (i.e. at development stage)



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