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Building Functional Safety into Complex Software Systems, Part II

Authored on: Feb 24, 2011 by Chris Hobbs

Technical Paper

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Traditionally, proofs that software systems meet functional safety standards have depended on exhaustive testing. This method is adequate for simple, deterministic systems, with single-threaded, run-to-completion processes. It is inadequate, however, for today's multi-threaded systems. The complexity of these systems precludes their being treated as deterministic systems in practice. This white paper proposes how a combination of procedural rigor, statistical testing, and design verification can be used to increase confidence in the functional safety of complex software systems.
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sharps_eng Posted Jan 29, 2012

This paper gives a good overview and introduction to the topic. For me it helped clarify the usefulness (or otherwise) of availability claims like 99.999% uptime etc. Not new information but a useful reworking of a subject that cannot be ignored. Interesting elephant in the room is the problems of the parent company RIM (BlackBerry). If I was running QNX (and I very nearly was on a recent project, shelved for other reasons), I would not be sleeping easy. It would be good to know what QNX / RIM are doing to reassure QNX customers (and prospects).

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