Complexity and Safety

  • Nancy G. Leveson
Conference paper


Complexity is overwhelming the traditional approaches to preventing accidents in engineered systems and new approaches are necessary. This paper identifies the most important types of complexity related to safety and discusses what is necessary to prevent accidents in our increasingly complex engineered systems.


Human Error Safety Culture Component Failure Qualitative Comparative Analysis Ballistic Missile 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Arnold, R.: A Qualitative Comparative Analysis of STAMP and SOAM in ATM Occurrence Investigation, Master’s Thesis, Lund University, Sweden (June 2009)Google Scholar
  2. Dekker, S.: The field guide to understanding human error. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. (2006)Google Scholar
  3. Dekker, S.: Ten Questions About Human Error: A New View of Human Factors and System Safety. Lawrence Erlbaum Associate Inc., Mahwah (2005)Google Scholar
  4. Ishimatsu, T., Leveson, N., Thomas, J., Katahira, M., Miyamoto, Y., Nakao, H.: Modeling and Hazard Analysis using STPA. In: Proceedings of the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety Conference, Huntsville, Alabama (May 2010)Google Scholar
  5. Leveson, N.: Engineering a Safer World: Systems Thinking Applied to Safety. MIT Press (December 2011), downloadable from
  6. Leveson, N.G.: Safeware: System Safety and Computers. Addison-Wesley Publishers, Reading (1995)Google Scholar
  7. Nelson, P.S.: A STAMP Analysis of the LEX Comair 5191 Accident. Master’s thesis, Lund University, Sweden (June 2008)Google Scholar
  8. Pereira, S., Lee, G., Howard, J.: A System-Theoretic Hazard Analysis Methodology for a Non-advocate Safety Assessment of the Ballistic Missile Defense System. In: Proceedings of the 2006 AIAA Missile Sciences Conference, Monterey, CA (November 2006)Google Scholar
  9. Perrow, C.: Normal Accidents: Living with High-Risk Technology. Princeton University Press (1999)Google Scholar
  10. Rasmussen, J.: Risk management in a dynamic society: A modeling problem. Safety Science 27(2/3), 183–213 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nancy G. Leveson
    • 1
  1. 1.Aeronautics and AstronauticsMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

Personalised recommendations