Academic journal article Informatica Economica

Integrated Methodology for Software Reliability Analysis

Academic journal article Informatica Economica

Integrated Methodology for Software Reliability Analysis

Article excerpt

The most used techniques to ensure safety and reliability of the systems are applied together as a whole, and in most cases, the software components are usually overlooked or to little analyzed. The present paper describes the applicability of fault trees analysis software system, analysis defined as Software Fault Tree Analysis (SFTA), fault trees are evaluated using binary decision diagrams, all of these being integrated and used with help from Java library reliability.

Keywords: Software Reliability, Binary Decision Diagram, Fault Trees, Combinatorial Models, Analytical Techniques

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)


Safety critical software systems refer to those systems blackouts that may cause catastrophic consequences, implying human and substantial material losses [10]. A variety of techniques is available and used to ensure safety and reliability to the system. Some of those include: HAZOP method (Hazard and Operability Analysis), which deals with risk study and system operability; fault tree analysis (FTA), used to analyze potential danger causes and FME(C)A technique (Failure Modes Effects (and Criticality) Analysis ), used to check the proper system functionality.

Most of the techniques mentioned before, are applied together as a whole, and in most cases, the software components are usual overlooked or very little analyzed.

This paper describes an integrated framework for software reliability analysis using the following analyses and modeling techniques:

-software fault tree analysis (SFTA);

-binary decision diagram;

-Java technology for reliability.

In use of this analysis framework are fallowed these steps:

-it starts from a structural/functional analysis of the software system, in order to determine software's failure mechanisms (failures), based on which the fault tree is constructed. The program is seen from a structural point of view, taking in consideration his components and the relations between them;

-after the structural-functional analysis is made, the primary events group (primary defects) and the group of critical events (failures) are identified, with the help of which the fault tree is built;

-using the resulted tree, different computation operations are made, such us tree minimization, through known methods, to ease the implementation process using the Java language;

-for the automated decision binary diagram generation an open source Java library is used, called JReliability (Javabased Reliability Library), library developed for modeling and analyzing the reliability of complex systems using BDD. Thus the most of the research was made on hardware systems in this paper the authors extends the library utility towards software systems;

-at last, after the BDD generation a quantitative analysis is made in order to evaluate the reliability indicators put at disposal by the JReliability, through the analytic results and through graphic representations.

First are presented the techniques used until the present and well researched in the field's literature: software fall tree analysis, SFTA and binary decision diagrams, BDD.

2 Combinatorial Models

Combinatorial models represents a structured approach of systems, forming a class of reliability models in which the causes of software failure can be expressed in terms of combinations of software components (modules) faults (failures) [4]. Combinatorial models include models with graphs used in network reliability analysis, fault trees and reliability block diagrams. These models do not require the fulfillment of constant failure rate assumption and have been successfully applied for reliability analysis of mechanical and electrical systems. In particular, failure trees were implemented also for reliability software analysis.

An alternative to SFTA [1] (a traditional approach of models with solutions based on minimal cuts) uses the so called binary decision diagrams (BDD) [2]. …

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