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The reliability of diverse systems: a contribution using modelling of the fault creation process

Popov, P. T. & Strigini, L. (2001). The reliability of diverse systems: a contribution using modelling of the fault creation process. Paper presented at the International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks, 1 - 4 Jul 2001, Goteborg, Sweden.


Design diversity is a defence against design faults causing common-mode failure in redundant systems, but we badly lack knowledge about how much reliability it will buy in practice, and thus about its cost-effectiveness, the situations in which it is an appropriate solution and how it should be taken into account by assessors and safety regulators. Both current practice and the scientific debate about design diversity depend largely on intuition. More formal probabilistic reasoning would facilitate critical discussion and empirical validation of any predictions: to this aim, we propose a model of the generation of faults and failures in two separately-developed program versions. We show results on: (i) what degree of reliability improvement an assessor can reliably expect from diversity; and (ii) how this reliability improvement may change with higher-quality development processes. We discuss the practical relevance of these results and the degree to which they can be trusted.

Publication Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: © 2001 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other users, including reprinting/ republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted components of this work in other works.
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Computer Science > Software Reliability
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