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Software for Dependable Systems: Sufficient Evidence? (2007)

Chapter:B: Open Session Briefers

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Suggested Citation:"B: Open Session Briefers." National Research Council. 2007. Software for Dependable Systems: Sufficient Evidence?. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11923.
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B
Open Session Briefers

Although the individuals listed below provided much useful information of various kinds to the committee, they were not asked to endorse this study’s conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of this report before its release.


DECEMBER 18-19, 2003

WASHINGTON, D.C.


Helen Gill, National Science Foundation

Sol Greenspan, National Science Foundation

Paul L. Jones, Food and Drug Administration

Carl Landwehr, National Science Foundation

Ernie Lucier, Federal Aviation Administration

Brad Martin, National Security Agency

Paul Miner, NASA

Ralph Wachter, Office of Naval Research


APRIL 19-21, 2004

WORKSHOP ON SOFTWARE CERTIFICATION AND DEPENDABILITY

WASHINGTON, D.C.


Kent Beck, Three Rivers Institute

Richard Cook, University of Chicago

Suggested Citation:"B: Open Session Briefers." National Research Council. 2007. Software for Dependable Systems: Sufficient Evidence?. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11923.
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David Dill, Stanford University

Matthias Felleisen, Northeastern University

Brent Goldfarb, University of Maryland

Anthony Hall, Praxis Critical Systems

Bob Harper, Carnegie Mellon University

Mats Heimdahl, University of Minnesota

Chuck Howell, MITRE Corporation

Doug Jones, University of Iowa

Shriram Krishnamurthi, Brown University

Jim Larus, Microsoft Research

Isaac Levendel, Independent Consultant

Gary McGraw, Cigital

Peter Neumann, SRI International

Bob Noel, MITRE Corporation

Gene Rochlin, University of California, Berkeley

Avi Rubin, Johns Hopkins University

Bill Scherlis, Carnegie Mellon University

Ted Selker, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

André van Tilborg, Office of the Secretary of Defense


MAY 18-19, 2004

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS


James Baker, U.S. Air Force

Michael Cusumano, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Michael Hammer, Hammer and Company

Mike Lai, Microsoft

Butler Lampson, Microsoft Research

Alfred Spector, IBM Research

Richard Stanley, MITRE


FEBRUARY 16-18, 2005

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIFORNIA


Bill Bush, Sun Microsystems

Window Snyder, Microsoft

Suggested Citation:"B: Open Session Briefers." National Research Council. 2007. Software for Dependable Systems: Sufficient Evidence?. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11923.
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Page128
Suggested Citation:"B: Open Session Briefers." National Research Council. 2007. Software for Dependable Systems: Sufficient Evidence?. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11923.
×
Page129
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The focus of Software for Dependable Systems is a set of fundamental principles that underlie software system dependability and that suggest a different approach to the development and assessment of dependable software.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to assess the dependability of software. The field of software engineering suffers from a pervasive lack of evidence about the incidence and severity of software failures; about the dependability of existing software systems; about the efficacy of existing and proposed development methods; about the benefits of certification schemes; and so on. There are many anecdotal reports, which—although often useful for indicating areas of concern or highlighting promising avenues of research—do little to establish a sound and complete basis for making policy decisions regarding dependability. The committee regards claims of extraordinary dependability that are sometimes made on this basis for the most critical of systems as unsubstantiated, and perhaps irresponsible. This difficulty regarding the lack of evidence for system dependability leads to two conclusions: (1) that better evidence is needed, so that approaches aimed at improving the dependability of software can be objectively assessed, and (2) that, for now, the pursuit of dependability in software systems should focus on the construction and evaluation of evidence.

The committee also recognized the importance of adopting the practices that are already known and used by the best developers; this report gives a sample of such practices. Some of these (such as systematic configuration management and automated regression testing) are relatively easy to adopt; others (such as constructing hazard analyses and threat models, exploiting formal notations when appropriate, and applying static analysis to code) will require new training for many developers. However valuable, though, these practices are in themselves no silver bullet, and new techniques and methods will be required in order to build future software systems to the level of dependability that will be required.

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