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System designers using off-the-shelf components (OTSCs), whose internals they cannot change, often use add-on “wrappers” to adapt the OTSCs’ behaviour as required. In most cases, wrappers are used to change “functional” properties of the components they wrap. In this paper we discuss instead protective wrapping, the use of wrappers to improve the dependability – i.e., “non-functional” properties like availability, reliability, security, and/or safety – of a component and thus of a system. Wrappers can improve dependability by adding fault tolerance, e.g. graceful degradation, or error recovery mechanisms. We discuss the rational specification of such protective wrappers in view of system dependability requirements, and highlight some of the design trade-offs and uncertainties that affect system design with OTSCs and wrappers, and that differentiate it from other forms of fault-tolerant design.
|Subjects:||Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software|
|Divisions:||School of Informatics > Centre for Software Reliability|
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