Comparing Forward and Backward Reachability as Tools for Safety Analysis

  • Ian M. Mitchell
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4416)


Using only the existence and uniqueness of trajectories for a generic dynamic system with inputs, we define and examine eight types of forward and backward reachability constructs. If the input is treated in a worst-case fashion, any forward or backward reach set or tube can be used for safety analysis, but if the input is treated in a best-case fashion only the backward reach tube always provides the correct results. Fortunately, forward and backward algorithms can be exchanged if well-posed reverse time trajectories can be defined. Unfortunately, backward reachability constructs are more likely to suffer from numerical stability issues, especially in systems with significant contraction—the very systems where forward simulation and reachability are most effective.


Hybrid System Safety Analysis Hybrid Automaton Reachability Analysis Forward Simulation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian M. Mitchell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer Science, University of British Columbia, 2366 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4Canada

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