Reliability of Computer Systems and Networks: Fault Tolerance, Analysis, and Design / Edition 1

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With computers becoming embedded as controllers in everything from network servers to the routing of subway schedules to NASA missions, there is a critical need to ensure that systems continue to function even when a component fails. In this book, bestselling author Martin Shooman draws on his expertise in reliability engineering and software engineering to provide a complete and authoritative look at fault tolerant computing. He clearly explains all fundamentals, including how to use redundant elements in system design to ensure the reliability of computer systems and networks.
Market: Systems and Networking Engineers, Computer Programmers, IT Professionals.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...develops the principles of reliability and availability analysis for computer networks, culminating in a n introduction network design principles." (SciTech Book News, Vol. 26, No. 2, June 2002)

"...a useful reference." (IEEE Computer-Review, August 2002)

"The author has created a wonderful toolbox for systems engineers. So much is right here in one place, and organized effectively. I recommend this book to anyone working on networks or systems where reliability is a concern." (IIE Transactions on Quality and Reliability Engineering)

"...very good practical hints...recommended for everyone who wants to learn either reliability fundamentals or know about the computer applications of reliability..." (, April 2003)

From The Critics
A textbook for a professional course for practicing engineers and computer scientists or a graduate college course for students of those and related disciplines. It develops the principles of reliability and availability analysis for computer networks, culminating in an introduction to network design principles. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471293422
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/18/2002
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 552
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.41 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Meet the Author

MARTIN L. SHOOMAN, PhD, served for many years as a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Polytechnic University in Brooklyn, New York. Dr. Shooman has been a Visiting Professor at MIT and Hunter College, and a consultant to Bell Laboratories, NASA, IBM, the US Army, and many other government and commercial organizations. A fellow of the IEEE, he has received five best paper awards from their Reliability and Computer Societies. Dr. Shooman has contributed to over 100 papers and reports to the research literature and has given special courses in Britain, Canada, France, Israel, and throughout the US. The author of Probabilistic Reliability: An Engineering Approach and Software Engineering: Design, Reliability, and Management, he is currently President of the consulting firm Martin L. Shooman & Associates.

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Table of Contents


1 Introduction.

1.1 What is Fault-Tolerant Computing?

1.2 The Rise of Microelectronics and the Computer.

1.3 Reliability and Availability.

1.4 Organization of the Book.

2 Coding Techniques.

2.1 Introduction.

2.2 Basic Principles.

2.3 Parity-Bit Codes.

2.4 Hamming Codes.

2.5 Error-Detection and Retransmission Codes.

2.6 Burst Error-Correction Codes.

2.7 Reed–Solomon Codes.

2.8 Other Codes.

3 Redundancy, Spares, and Repairs.

3.1 Introduction.

3.2 Apportionment.

3.3 System Versus Component Redundancy.

3.4 Approximate Reliability Functions.

3.5 Parallel Redundancy.

3.6 An r-out-of-n Structure.

3.7 Standby Systems.

3.8 Repairable Systems.

3.9 RAID Systems Reliability.

3.10 Typical Commercial Fault-Tolerant Systems: Tandem and Stratus.

4 N-Modular Redundancy.

4.1 Introduction.

4.2 The History of N-Modular Redundancy.

4.3 Triple Modular Redundancy.

4.4 N-Modular Redundancy.

4.5 Imperfect Voters.

4.6 Voter Logic.

4.7 N-Modular Redundancy with Repair.

4.8 N-Modular Redundancy with Repair and Imperfect Voters.

4.9 Availability of N-Modular Redundancy with Repair and Imperfect Voters.

4.10 Microcode-Level Redundancy.

4.11 Advanced Voting Techniques.

5 Software Reliability and Recovery Techniques.

5.1 Introduction.

5.2 The Magnitude of the Problem.

5.3 Software Development Life Cycle.

5.4 Reliability Theory.

5.5 Software Error Models.

5.6 Reliability Models.

5.7 Estimating the Model Constants.

5.8 Other Software Reliability Models.

5.9 Software Redundancy.

5.10 Rollback and Recovery.

6 Networked Systems Reliability.

6.1 Introduction.

6.2 Graph Models.

6.3 Definition of Network Reliability.

6.4 Two-Terminal Reliability.

6.5 Node Pair Resilience.

6.6 All-Terminal Reliability.

6.7 Design Approaches.

7 Reliability Optimization.

7.1 Introduction.

7.2 Optimum Versus Good Solutions.

7.3 A Mathematical Statement of the Optimization Problem.

7.4 Parallel and Standby Redundancy.

7.5 Hierarchical Decomposition.

7.6 Apportionment.

7.7 Optimization at the Subsystem Level via Enumeration.

7.8 Bounded Enumeration Approach.

7.9 Apportionment as an Approximate Optimization Technique.

7.10 Standby System Optimization.

7.11 Optimization Using a Greedy Algorithm.

7.12 Dynamic Programming.

7.13 Conclusion.

Appendix A Summary of Probability Theory.

A1 Introduction.

A2 Probability Theory.

A3 Set Theory.

A4 Combinatorial Properties.

A5 Discrete Random Variables.

A6 Continuous Random Variables.

A7 Moments.

A8 Markov Variables.

Appendix B Summary of Reliability Theory.

B1 Introduction.

B2 Combinatorial Reliability.

B3 Failure-Rate Models.

B4 System Reliability.

B5 Illustrative Example of Simplified Auto Drum Brakes.

B5.6 Summary.

B6 Markov Reliability and Availability Models.

B7 Repairable Systems.

B8 Laplace Transform Solutions of Markov Models.

Appendix C Review of Architecture Fundamentals.

C1 Introduction to Computer Architecture.

C2 Logic Gates, Symbols, and Integrated Circuits.

C3 Boolean Algebra and Switching Functions.

C4 Switching Function Simplification.

C5 Combinatorial Circuits.

C6 Common Circuits: Parity-Bit Generators and Decoders.

C7 Flip-Flops.

C8 Storage Registers.

Appendix D Programs for Reliability Modeling and Analysis.

D1 Introduction.

D2 Various Types of Reliability and Availability Programs.

D3 Testing Programs.

D4 Partial List of Reliability and Availability Programs.

D5 An Example of Computer Analysis.

Name Index.

Subject Index.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2003

    Excellent for self study

    This book has far surpassed my expectations. I expected another computer network book (like so many internet texts). Instead this gem was for very serious reliability, such as aircraft systems, military and medical equipment. It is largely focused on reliability of the interconnect pathways themselves and their topology, but also goes into detail on software and component reliability. It also shows several hardware implementation on the interconnect systems, voters and the like. It contains many real-world examples from RAID controllers to Space Shuttles. It has an even, step-by-step approach from first principles that is very easy to follow. By approaching each concept from its root principles, the reader can understand the reasons behind the math; something most engineering and math books do not do. Several appedices review the core math for reliability and probability theory for the mathematically out-of-practice, and logic design for illustration of circuit implementations. All these make the book an excellent self-contained text. The tools applied here can be expanded from network, interconnect and software systems into management and logistics issues by using the appendices as a primer of reliability theory.

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