Structure for Dependability: Computer-Based Systems from an Interdisciplinary Perspective

Front Cover
Springer Science & Business Media, Apr 28, 2006 - Computers - 306 pages
Computer-based systems are now essential to everyday life. They involve both tech- cal (hardware/software) components and human beings as active participants. Wh- ever we ?y aboard an aircraft or withdraw money from a cash point, a combination of humans, machines and software is supporting the delivery of the service. These systems and many others bene?t from the miniaturisation and cost reduction of the hardware which has made it possible for computers to be embedded everywhere. An equally remarkable development is the software involved: today, systems are built which were literally unthinkable twenty or thirty years ago. Measured in terms of their function, the productivity of their creation has also advanced enormously (largely - cause of the software infrastructure). Even the dependability of the best of todays so- ware is praiseworthy when one considers the complexity of the functionality provided. Solid engineering and the increasing adoption of methods based on ?rmly established theory are to be thanked here. However, in large and complex systems, there remain major challenges to achieving dependability when complex interactions exist between technical and human components. Large and complex things are understood as assemblages of simpler components: the way these components ?t together is the structure of the system. Structure can be real and physical, or a subjective mental tool for analysis.
 

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Contents

a software engineering perspective
16
on the evolution of sociotechnical systems
47
Time bands in systems structure
74
Procedures programs and their impact on dependability
91
Cognitive conflicts in dynamic systems
107
Architectural description of dependable software systems
126
diagrams and structure
143
Ethnography and the social structure of work
169
a systems theory
189
Security implications of structure
215
On the use of diverse arguments to increase confidence
254
Qualitative analysis of dependability argument structure
269
Index 291
289
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About the author (2006)

Cliff Jones (Magnolia, TX), also of the epic software, group contributed to Director Game Development from Concept to Creation, and Director 8.5 Shockwave Studio Interface Design.