Publication Date



Technical Report: UTEP-CS-22-82


In general, the more measurements we perform, the more information we gain about the system and thus, the more adequate decisions we will be able to make. However, in situations when we perform measurements to check for safety, the situation is sometimes opposite: the more additional measurements we perform beyond what is required, the worse the decisions will be: namely, the higher the chance that a perfectly safe system will be erroneously classified as unsafe and therefore, unnecessary additional features will be added to the system design. This is not just a theoretical possibility: exactly this phenomenon is one of the reasons why the construction of a world-wide thermonuclear research center has been suspended. In this paper, we show that the reason for this paradox is in the way the safety standards are formulated now -- what was a right formulation when sensors were much more expensive is no longer adequate now when sensors and measurements are much cheaper. We also propose how to modify the safety standards so as to avoid this paradox and make sure that additional measurements always lead to better solutions.