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Assessing the Risk due to Software Faults: Estimates of Failure Rate versus Evidence of Perfection.

Bertolino, A. and Strigini, L. (1998). Assessing the Risk due to Software Faults: Estimates of Failure Rate versus Evidence of Perfection.. Software Testing, Verification and Reliability, 8(3), pp. 155-166. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1099-1689(1998090)8:3<155::AID-STVR163>3.0.CO;2-B

Abstract

In the debate over the assessment of software reliability (or safety), as applied to critical software, two extreme positions can be discerned: the ‘statistical’ position, which requires that the claims of reliability be supported by statistical inference from realistic testing or operation, and the ‘perfectionist’ position, which requires convincing indications that the software is free from defects. These two positions naturally lead to requiring different kinds of supporting evidence, and actually to stating the dependability requirements in different ways, not allowing any direct comparison. There is often confusion about the relationship between statements about software failure rates and about software correctness, and about which evidence can support either kind of statement. This note clarifies the meaning of the two kinds of statement and how they relate to the probability of failure-free operation, and discusses their practical merits, especially for high required reliability or safety.

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
Departments: School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering > Computer Science > Software Reliability
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/383
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