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Trade-offs in developing fault tolerant software

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3 Author(s)
Vaidya, N.H. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Texas A&M Univ., College Station, TX, USA ; Singh, A.D. ; Krishna, C.M.

Design diversity has emerged as a powerful mechanism for incorporating software fault tolerance in ultra-reliable systems. We study the trade-offs available during the development process of fault-tolerant software employing the recovery block approach. When the total available testing time is bounded, our analysis determines how appropriately to allocate testing time to the various redundant modules that make up the fault tolerant system so as to maximise its reliability. This requires a study of the interactions between the various modules in the software system. For example error coverage and the false alarm probability of acceptance test in the recovery block scheme may be interrelated and it may not be possible to simultaneously improve both. Hence there exists a trade-off between acceptance test coverage and false alarm probability. The impact of such trade-offs on system reliability is also studied.

Published in:

Computers and Digital Techniques, IEE Proceedings E  (Volume:140 ,  Issue: 6 )