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The basic requirements for an online dynamic security assessment (DSA) system are robustness (consistent and accurate results), fast response and flexibility. The specification of how much accuracy, flexibility and performance is required depends on factors such as levels of network stress, operating procedures, reliability standards, and regulatory/economical constraints to be determined for each particular power system. Usually there are reliability and economic reasons for improved security assessment. This paper shows the functional requirements for the various components of such an architecture. One of key aspects of the development is in the classification of the knowledge and rules for each component.