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Assessment and Certification of Software, IEE Colloquium on

Date 9 Nov 1993

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Displaying Results 1 - 7 of 7
  • Software assessment: ten years on

    Publication Year: 1993 , Page(s): 3/1 - 3/2
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    Consideration is given to how software assessment and certification has developed since the author first became involved in the early 1980s. The author concentrates on safety-related software, although many of the conclusions are applicable to mission-critical and security-critical systems. In 1983, software assessment was bedevilled by a lack of both theory and experience. There were no generally applicable standards. In the absence of a satisfactory theory for software reliability, assessment was based on an `argument of excellence', which sought to show that the safety integrity of the software components was high enough not to compromise the safety integrity of the hardware. The argument of excellence depended on a three-legged assessment approach: quality audit; analysis; and testing. In 1993, matters have improved considerably, although several problems still remain. There are a number of standards that can be used for the basis of assessment, including IEC SC65A WG9, IDS 00-55, DO178B, DIN VDE 0801 and various standards and drafts to support the Machinery Directive. The three-legged approach is still applicable, but the analysis leg is supported by progress in techniques and tools for static analysis and formal methods, including powerful theorem provers from North America and the SPARK Examiner. Static analysis as part of assessment is happening on a heroic scale. Software reliability theory has also advanced View full abstract»

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  • Software certification and testing

    Publication Year: 1993 , Page(s): 7/1 - 7/3
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    The conventional method of providing technical support to a certificate is by means of testing the product, or an instance of the product. Although copies of an item of software rarely deviate from the master, the frequent release of products makes testing laborious. The author surveys the current position, and advocates schemes which combine process certification with product certification View full abstract»

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  • What are we assessing: compliance, adequacy or function?

    Publication Year: 1993 , Page(s): 5/1 - 5/3
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    The article is based on the authors' experience and primarily on experience of assessing safety related programmable electronic systems (PESs). Therefore the thoughts expressed are directed principally towards safety, or lack of it, and PESs. The authors believe that it is possible to identify at least three important components of assessment, addressing three different aspects of what it is that the authors are trying to assess: assessment of compliance (the objective assessment of a system's compliance with a standard or standards); assessment of adequacy (the subjective assessment a system's fitness for purpose); and assessment of function (the validation of a system to assess whether it fulfils its specified functions) View full abstract»

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  • IEE Colloquium on `Assessment and Certification of Software' (Digest No.1993/208)

    Publication Year: 1993
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    The following topics were dealt with: software assessment in the motor industry; engineering judgement; software compliance, adequacy and function assessment; software certification and testing; and software dependability assessment View full abstract»

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  • Lloyd's Register's approach to software dependability assessment

    Publication Year: 1993 , Page(s): 8/1 - 8/6
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    Software dependability assessment is the evaluation of evidence produced from the development process. Assessment must be objective; that is, it must be based upon observations of the supplied evidence which can readily be checked, or facts derived from those observations by some agreed procedure (measurements). The difficulty lies in choosing the observations and measurements so that dependability may be validly inferred from them. There are few existing standards against which the dependability of a software product can be assessed. Existing standards concentrate on the process of developing software and insufficiently on the product. In addition they are, in the main, too general to provide a basis for assessment: compliance with them is itself a matter of judgement and is therefore partly subjective. Faced with this situation, the work being undertaken within Lloyd's Register focuses on the development of fixed criteria on which to base assessments. These are naturally derived from applicable standards, but place greater emphasis on repeatability and objectivity. Measurement is employed wherever possible. Procedures are being developed, and minimum qualifications for assessors sets, in order to ensure that, where measurement is not possible, decisions are justified and personal preferences minimised View full abstract»

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  • Some issues for software assessment in the motor industry

    Publication Year: 1993 , Page(s): 2/1 - 2/6
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    There are many difficulties to the general application of software assessment, especially by independent organisations, within the motor industry for both vehicle manufacturers and suppliers. These difficulties, such as the preception of high cost for no added value, confidentiality concerns, resource requirements, reactive management and `traditional' engineering attitudes can be reduced by educating decision makers on software issues, but the real motivator is undoubtedly the requirement under the law in order to level the field on an international basis, and this is not yet clear. If improvements in safety and reliability are made by using software engineering and its assessment within the motor industry then it should also bring benefits in quality, customer satisfaction, and ultimately costs, which has the long term potential to more than offset the investment required. This would be to the advantage of all parties concerned, manufacturers, suppliers, assessors and most importantly buyers of vehicles View full abstract»

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  • Engineering judgement

    Publication Year: 1993 , Page(s): 4/1 - 4/2
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    Computer software is inherently complex. Whatever the application, the author chooses-for excellent reasons-to put the complexity of the system largely into the software. This is done to reduce hardware complexity, or to reduce hardware costs, or so that they can use standard hardware components, or for flexibility, for ease of update, or for ease of development. Assessment and certification methods have to overcome this complexity if they are to provide a useful basis for determining the fitness for purpose of some software component. Ultimately, as the author shows, dependability is a matter for engineering judgement supported, but no supplanted, by objective assessment View full abstract»

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