Browse Prior Art Database

Software Reliability is not a Warm Blanket

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131337D
Original Publication Date: 1978-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-10
Document File: 3 page(s) / 18K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Paul B. Moranda: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

The Open Channel is exactly what the name implies: a forum for the free exchange of technical ideas. Try to hold your contributions to one page maximum in the final magazine format (about 1000 words). We'll accept anything (short of libel or obscenity) so long as it's submitted by a member of the Computer Society. If it's really bizarre we may require you to get another member to cosponsor your item. Send everything to Jim Haynes, Applied Sciences, UC Manta Crux. CA 95064.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

This record contains textual material that is copyright ©; 1978 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact the IEEE Computer Society http://www.computer.org/ (714-821-8380) for copies of the complete work that was the source of this textual material and for all use beyond that as a record from the SPI Database.

Software Reliability is not a Warm Blanket

Paul B. Moranda

The Open Channel

The Open Channel is exactly what the name implies: a forum for the free exchange of technical ideas. Try to hold your contributions to one page maximum in the final magazine format (about 1000 words).

We'll accept anything (short of libel or obscenity) so long as it's submitted by a member of the Computer Society. If it's really bizarre we may require you to get another member to cosponsor your item.

Send everything to Jim Haynes, Applied Sciences, UC Manta Crux. CA 95064.

Myers remarks in The Open Channel in Computer, June 1978, appear to evidence his scorn for reliability (as it has come to be defined).

In the broad sense, Myers is correct in his contention that the subject of software reliability includes many areas, other than the "numbers" he refers to. But to assert that the Program Committee of the 1975 International Conference on Reliable Software (not software reliability!) should be consulted as "mediators" is like asserting that engineering in the traditional sense of C.A.R. Hoare's keynote speech was the (or even "a") topic of the recent Third International Conference on Software Engineering in Atlanta.

We have to accept the proposition that the subject is as it does (early in the history of information theory, the IRE transactions on that subject included papers on radar detection, pattern recognition, matched filters' and the estimation of gyro drift!). In the early days of software reliability there was a conference in Toronto on the subject, and the only mention of probability was tentative and almost apologetic. My fears are that the topics of design. testing, etc. (which are more properly functions of quality assurance). will dominate the "numbers" aspect of software reliability. Myers' comment that the JelinskiMoranda model is the "old hardware" model indicates a naivete about both software and hardware reliability. That model is the first event-altered rate model ever applied to software reliability (and it may be the first applied in the larger field of reliability). It is the concatenation of a sequence of detection rates (which Myers incorrectly calls models) that as a whole is the model and which as a whole permits the error content and the MTTF to be estimated. Had Myers read with greater care the reference he cited (Myers' reference 18.1)' he would (perhaps) not be so skeptical about the model being employed on software: The following quote from pp. 472-473 of that reference bears on this point:

Software errors o...