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A note on reliability estimation of functionally diverse systems

Littlewood, B., Popov, P. T. & Strigini, L. (1999). A note on reliability estimation of functionally diverse systems. Reliability Engineering & System Safety, 66(1), pp. 93-95. doi: 10.1016/S0951-8320(99)00014-9


It has been argued that functional diversity might be a plausible means of claiming independence of failures between two versions of a system. We present a model of functional diversity, in the spirit of earlier models of diversity such as those of Eckhardt and Lee, and Hughes. In terms of the model, we show that the claims for independence between functionally diverse systems seem rather unrealistic. Instead, it seems likely that functionally diverse systems will exhibit positively correlated failures, and thus will be less reliable than an assumption of independence would suggest. The result does not, of course, suggest that functional diversity is not worthwhile; instead, it places upon the evaluator of such a system the onus to estimate the degree of dependence so as to evaluate the reliability of the system.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: functional diversity, design diversity, system reliability, multiversion software, failures
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Computer Science > Software Reliability
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