Software Safety and Reliability: Techniques, Approaches, and Standards of Key Industrial Sectors / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$93.30
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $100.07
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 14%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (10) from $100.07   
  • New (5) from $100.07   
  • Used (5) from $135.74   

Overview

The role of software has changed from simply generating financial or mechanical data to monitoring and controlling equipment that directly affects human life and safety. As a result, a more thorough understanding and familiarity with the specialized techniques used to achieve and assess the safety and reliability of software is needed in academia, industry, and government.

This original text introduces the concepts, techniques, and approaches used to achieve and assess software safety and reliability. Debra Herrmann presents a cross-section of current safety and reliability standards that cross multiple industrial sectors while focusing on the additional required activities to achieve software safety and reliability. In organizing this text, the she has three objectives. The first is to raise the reader's awareness on the importance of software safety and reliability and on its role in mission critical systems by presenting many illustrative, ever day examples. The second objective is to provide practical information about the current methods used to achieve and assess software safety and reliability. The final objective is to improve the understanding and practice of software safety and reliability by consolidating the latest research so that it can be compared and analyzed for the future.

The book is written for engineers, scientists, managers, regulators, and policy makers involved in the design, development, acquisition, and certification of safety-critical systems.

"...introduces the concepts, techniques, & approaches used to achieve & assess software safety & reliability...written to raise awareness on the importance of these issues & also to provide current methods for achieving them."

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780769502991
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 2/10/2000
  • Series: Practitioners Series , #26
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 520
  • Product dimensions: 7.07 (w) x 10.04 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Software Safety and Reliability

Techniques, Approaches, and Standards of Key Industrial Sectors
By Debra S. Hemmann

John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0-7695-0299-7


Chapter One

Introduction

1.1 Background

The inherent complexity of software-its design, development, assessment, and use-is and has been increasing rapidly during the last decade. The cycle time between new versions of system and application software has decreased from a number of years to a number of months. The evolution and discovery of new design techniques and development methodologies are proceeding at an equally rapid pace. Consequently, the debate about what constitutes the standard body of knowledge for Computer Science professionals continues.

Accompanying this is the ever broadening role that software plays in electronic products. A study performed in the U.K. in 1990 estimated that the market for the development of safety-related software was $.85B per year and that it was growing at a rate of 20 percent per year. This is due to the fact that software is replacing discrete hardware logic in many devices. Some common examples include air traffic control systems, nuclear power plant control systems, and radiation therapy systems. In addition, advanced electronics with embedded software controllers are being incorporated into a variety of new products, such as laser surgical devices, automobiles, subways, and intelligent transportation systems.

As such the role of software has moved from simply generating financial or other mathematical data to monitoring and controlling equipment which directly affects human life and safety. In fact, it was reported by Donald Mackenzie that "the total number of people killed by computer system failures, worldwide, up to the end of 1992, is between 1000 and 3000." A sampling of the evening news reinforces this observation:

During 1994 a NASA shuttle launch was halted, under software control, at T minus .9 seconds after an improper mixture of gases was detected in the fuel tanks.

During 1995, following a software "upgrade" a major automated teller machine (ATM) bank card system deducted double the cash amount actually withdrawn from customers' accounts.

In June 1996 a Washington, D.C. Metro subway driver was killed when a train on automatic control crashed into a wall instead of stopping at the last station.

On July 24, 1996 National Public Radio (NPR) reported that six of the eight New England Yankee nuclear power plants were shut down during the first half of 1996 because simulated testing showed that they could reach unsafe states.

On August 9, 1996 WTOP News reported that 50,000 pieces of mail sent to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) had been "returned to sender." During the previous week an "upgrade" had been made to a U.S. Postal Service information system and the USPTO's zip code had been accidentally deleted.

On September 17, 1996 WTOP News announced that an estimated one billion dollar contract had been awarded by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to Raytheon and its bidding partners to modernize the air traffic control systems at U.S. airports. A major part of this upgrade effort will be to convert much of the system's functionality to software control.

As a result, a more thorough and widespread understanding of and familiarity with the specialized techniques used to achieve and assess the safety and reliability of software are needed in academia, industry, and government. This is also true since many legal issues related to software liability are evolving.

1.2 Purpose

While the general concept of safety and reliability is understood by most parties, the specialty of software safety and reliability is not. The understanding of electronic component reliability and electrical safety has been evolving since the 1940s. In contrast, software safety and reliability is a relatively new discipline that only a few understand well or at all. Hence, the overall goal of writing this book is to improve the state of the art of software safety and reliability, both its understanding and practice. This goal is achieved through three objectives.

The first objective of this book is to serve as a "consciousness raising" about the importance of software safety and reliability and the attention this subject warrants in mission critical systems. As more and more functionality is shifted from hardware to software, two common scenarios occur. First, managers and technical personnel involved in mission critical projects are generally very knowledgeable about optics, radiation physics, mechanical engineering, and so forth. However, they are sometimes at a loss when it comes to knowing: 1) what to do about software safety and reliability; 2) the skill set that is needed to adequately address software safety and reliability; and 3) sometimes even that this subject warrants serious attention. Second, today there are many excellent Computer Science and Software Engineering programs at universities throughout the world. Unfortunately very few of them offer any courses on software safety and reliability or on software engineering standards. A student may acquire a thorough background in software engineering without being exposed to the field of software safety and reliability. Given the shift in technology to software controlled products, this is unfortunate because today's students will be tomorrow's safety and reliability practitioners. This book has been written to serve as a "consciousness raising" for both scenarios. As such, it includes many illustrative everyday examples about the importance of software safety and reliability, particularly in Chapter 2.

The second objective of this book is to provide practical information about the current methods used to achieve and assess software safety and reliability. This is accomplished by a comprehensive discussion of the current approaches promoted by key industrial sectors and standards organizations to software safety and reliability. Since most practitioners were not taught software safety and reliability in school, it is all the more imperative that they be made aware of current software safety and reliability standards. As a rule, standards are written in a very terse style. A phrase or sentence may be very meaningful to the committee members who spent years writing the standard, but the same phrase leaves the average reader in the dark. Accordingly, Parts II and III of this book have been written in the style of an application guide-"how to" read, interpret, and implement a given standard. While theory is not entirely neglected, the emphasis in on practical information.

The third and final objective of this book is to bring together, for the first time, in one volume the contemporary thinking on software safety and reliability so that it can be compared and analyzed; thereby leading to the improved understanding and practice of this field in the future.

1.3 Scope

This book is limited to a presentation and analysis of the methods used to achieve and assess software safety and reliability. In mission critical systems safety and reliability are paramount. This fact is recognized by the statement in the American Society of Quality (ASQ) Code of Ethics, "1.1 Will do whatever I can do to promote the reliability and safety of all products that come within my jurisdiction." Accordingly, the standards discussed in Parts II and III are limited to software safety and reliability standards. Furthermore, they are limited to widely available national and international consensus standards which were developed in the last decade. Proprietary standards were excluded. This is not an exhaustive sample but a representative sample of current software safety and reliability standards which cross multiple industrial sectors.

Likewise, general purpose software engineering standards, such as ISO/EEC 12207, were excluded. The text discusses the safety, reliability, and risk management activities that occur during the software development lifecycle. Since volumes have already been written about the generic activities that occur during any software development lifecycle, that information is not repeated here. Instead, this text focuses on the additional activities that are needed to achieve and assess software safety and reliability. As we will see in Parts II and III some standards integrate safety, reliability, and risk management activities in a single generic development lifecycle; while other standards promote a distinct safety lifecycle.

It is not within the scope of this book to endorse one standard over the other; instead their strengths and areas for improvement are discussed with an emphasis on the practicality of implementation.

1.4 Intended Audience

This book is written for engineers, scientists, managers, regulators, and policy makers involved in the design, development, acquisition, and certification of safety-critical systems. In particular:

Manufacturers of safety-critical systems in the aerospace, defense, power plant, transportation, and biomedical industries;

Government agencies responsible for overseeing safety and reliability of mission critical systems; and

Independent laboratories responsible for certifying the safety and reliability of such systems.

Managers and technical personnel will find the abundant practical "how to" information, examples, templates, and discussion problems most useful. This book assumes a basic understanding of software engineering; however, no previous background in software safety or reliability is expected.

1.5 Organization

This book is organized in four parts and twelve chapters. Part I, Chapter 1 puts the book in context by explaining the rationale and purpose for which the book was written. It defines limitations on the scope of the book's subject matter, identifies the intended audience for whom the book was written, and discusses the organization of this book. This chapter concludes by acknowledging those individuals and organizations who made significant contributions during the book's development.

Part I, Chapter 2 sets the stage for the rest of the book by providing an introduction to and overview of the basic concepts related to software safety and reliability. This is accomplished by examining five fundamental questions:

What is software safety?

What is software reliability?

Why is software different?

How can software safety and reliability be achieved?

What is the role of standards?

The information in Chapter 2 establishes the basic principles necessary to understand and evaluate the approaches promoted by key industrial sectors and standards organizations, discussed in Parts II and III, to software safety and reliability. By design, at this introductory stage informal "practical working definitions" are provided in order to convey the basic concepts of software safety and reliability. Later, in Parts II and III the formal definitions promulgated by each of the standards are provided. As we will see, the standards do not always agree. Consequently, Chapter 2 takes a middle of the road approach, rather than endorsing one standard over the other.

Part II (Chapters 3-7) examines in detail the approaches promoted by key industrial sectors (transportation, aerospace, defense, nuclear power, and biomedical) to software safety and reliability. Collectively they represent the broadest possible spectrum of technology and mission critical systems. The approaches promoted by these industrial sectors are examined against a standard template. Each section opens with a brief discussion of how the standard was developed and a definition of its scope or applicability. A detailed description of the standard's approach to software safety and reliability is next. This description, which comprises approximately 80 percent of each chapter, focuses on:

practices recommended and required by the standard;

interaction between this standard, system safety, and other standards;

designated roles, responsibilities, and qualifications of project members;

data items which are produced when following the standard;

how compliance to the standard is assessed; and

the ability (or inability) of the standard to be scaled to match the size and complexity of a project.

A discussion of the strengths of the standard, areas for improvement, and the results observed to date follow, such as an examination of how successfully the standard has been moved from theory to practice. Each chapter concludes with a summary of the information presented, discussion problems, and pointers to other relevant information resources.

Part III, Chapters 8-11, examines the approaches promoted by non-industry specific software safety and reliability standards in detail, using the same template that was used in Part II.

Part IV, Chapter 12, presents observations and conclusions about the similarities and differences in these standards and their approach to achieving and assessing software safety and reliability. Potential new and hybrid approaches are explored. Areas for improvement and further research are also identified.

Two annexes provide supplemental information. Annex A lists contact information for obtaining copies of the standards discussed in Chapters 3-12. Annex B lists a sampling of the automated software safety and reliability analysis tools currently being marketed.

1.6 Acknowledgments

The author would like to acknowledge the significant contributions made by the technical reviewers and production and editorial staff: Cheryl Baltes, Denise Hurst, Deborah Plummer, and Kathryn Sanders, during the development and formal review of this book.

The author would like to thank the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), British Standards Institution (BSI), Professor Robin Bloomfield of Adelard, Professor Bev Littlewood of the Centre for Software Reliability (CSR), Dr. R. Ciaschi and Lothar Winzer of the European Space Agency (ESA), Oliver Christ of the EuroSpec Institute of Equipment Safety, Dave Balderston of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Dee Simons of the Health Industries Manufacturers Association (HIMA), Charles Jacquemart of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Gary LeBlanc of the Indiana Medical Devices Manufacturers Council (IMDMC), Lois Ferson of the International Society for Measurement and Control (ISA), Dr. Richard Mellish of the Medical Devices Agency, Dr. David D. Ward of the Motor Industry Research Association (MIRA), Kathryn Kemp-Greenly of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), John Harauz of the Ontario Power Generation, Inc., Requirements and Technical Concepts in Aviation, Inc. (RTCA), Dr. David E. Peercy of Sandia National Laboratories, the U.K. Ministry of Defense (MoD), U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), and Dorothy Deutch of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for their willingness to share the information which is presented and analyzed in this book. Hopefully we can all continue to work together to move the state of the art for software safety and reliability forward.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Software Safety and Reliability by Debra S. Hemmann Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

I. INTRODUCTION TO SOFTWARE SAFETY AND RELIABILITY.

Introduction.

Software Safety and Reliability Basics.

II. APPROACHES PROMOTED BY KEY INDUSTRIAL SECTORS TO SOFTWARE SAFETY AND REL1ABILITY.

Transportation Industry.

Aerospace Industry.

Defense Industry.

Nuclear Power Industry.

Biomedical Industry.

III. APPROACHES PROMOTED BY NON-INDUSTRY SPECIFIC SOFTWARE SAFETY AND RELIABILITY STANDARDS.

IEC Software Dependability Standards.

IEEE SEMSPLC Guidelines.

ANSI/IEEE Std. 1-1989 and 982.2-1989.

IEEE Std. 1228-1994, Standard for Software Safety Plans.

IV. OBSERVATIONS AND CONCLUSIONS.

Observation and Conclusions.

Appendix A. Organizations Involved in Software Safety and Reliability Standards.

Appendix B. Commercial Products Available.

Index.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)