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Title: Formal methods in the development of safety critical software systems

As the use of computers in critical control systems such as aircraft controls, medical instruments, defense systems, missile controls, and nuclear power plants has increased, concern for the safety of those systems has also grown. Much of this concern has focused on the software component of those computer-based systems. This is primarily due to historical experience with software systems that often exhibit larger numbers of errors than their hardware counterparts and the fact that the consequences of a software error may endanger human life, property, or the environment. A number of different techniques have been used to address the issue of software safety. Some are standard software engineering techniques aimed at reducing the number of faults in a software protect, such as reviews and walkthroughs. Others, including fault tree analysis, are based on identifying and reducing hazards. This report examines the role of one such technique, formal methods, in the development of software for safety critical systems. The use of formal methods to increase the safety of software systems is based on their role in reducing the possibility of software errors that could lead to hazards. The use of formal methods in the development of software systems is controversial. Proponentsmore » claim that the use of formal methods can eliminate errors from the software development process, and produce programs that are probably correct. Opponents claim that they are difficult to learn and that their use increases development costs unacceptably. This report discusses the potential of formal methods for reducing failures in safety critical software systems.« less
Authors:
 [1]
  1. Software Engineering Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
10146119
Report Number(s):
UCRL-ID--109416
ON: DE93012446
DOE Contract Number:
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: 15 Nov 1991
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE, Washington, DC (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
99 GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS//MATHEMATICS, COMPUTING, AND INFORMATION SCIENCE; 22 GENERAL STUDIES OF NUCLEAR REACTORS; COMPUTERIZED CONTROL SYSTEMS; SAFETY; SECURITY; COMPUTERS; STATISTICS; COMPUTER CODES; REACTOR SAFETY 990200; 220900; MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTERS; REACTOR SAFETY