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The ubiquitous computer is the electronic component of choice for system developers, who increasingly exploit computing's power in safety-critical applications such as steer-by-wire automotive systems and powered prosthetics. However, these computer-based systems raise the ongoing concern that they might fail and cause harm. Exploring the systematic design of safety-critical computer systems helps to show how engineers can verify that these designs will be safe. Achieving risk reduction requires dealing with all the system's components: hardware and software, sensors, effectors, the operator, and the primary source of harmful energy or toxicity: the application.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2003