By Topic

SIFT: Design and analysis of a fault-tolerant computer for aircraft control

Sign In

Cookies must be enabled to login.After enabling cookies , please use refresh or reload or ctrl+f5 on the browser for the login options.

Formats Non-Member Member
$31 $13
Learn how you can qualify for the best price for this item!
Become an IEEE Member or Subscribe to
IEEE Xplore for exclusive pricing!
close button

puzzle piece

IEEE membership options for an individual and IEEE Xplore subscriptions for an organization offer the most affordable access to essential journal articles, conference papers, standards, eBooks, and eLearning courses.

Learn more about:

IEEE membership

IEEE Xplore subscriptions

8 Author(s)
Wensley, J.H. ; SRI International, Menlo Park, CA ; Lamport, L. ; Goldberg, J. ; Green, M.W.
more authors

SIFT (Software Implemented Fault Tolerance) is an ultrareliable computer for critical aircraft control applications that achieves fault tolerance by the replication of tasks among processing units. The main processing units are off-the-shelf minicomputers, with standard microcomputers serving as the interface to the I/O system. Fault isolation is achieved by using a specially designed redundant bus system to interconnect the proeessing units. Error detection and analysis and system reconfiguration are performed by software. Iterative tasks are redundantly executed, and the results of each iteration are voted upon before being used. Thus, any single failure in a processing unit or bus can be tolerated with triplication of tasks, and subsequent failures can be tolerated after reconfiguration. Independent execution by separate processors means that the processors need only be loosely synchronized, and a novel fault-tolerant synchronization method is described. The SIFT software is highly structured and is formally specified using the SRI-developed SPECIAL language. The correctness of SIFT is to be proved using a hierarchy of formal models. A Markov model is used both to analyze the reliability of the system and to serve as the formal requirement for the SIFT design. Axioms are given to characterize the high-level behavior of the system, from which a correctness statement has been proved. An engineering test version of SIFT is currently being built.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:66 ,  Issue: 10 )