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Using Failure History to Improve Reliability in Information Technology



D Wallace


Achieving 100 % software reliability may seem an unreasonable goal. Software developers and consumers of many software products are largely unsure about the reliability of their product or purchase. Today, many opportunities exist for some assurance of software products. Current practices and issues address process (e.g., CMM, ISO 9000), people (e.g., software engineering degrees, certification exams, licensing) and product (e.g., measurement of the product) encompass major areas of progress toward software reliability. This presentation discusses one aspect of the product: the usage of history data of faults and failures of software systems, collected from either the development and assurance processes or operational use, to improve reliability of software products. Information contained in these histories characterizes the nature of faults, or defects, for a specific product line. The objectives are to use the history to determine how to prevent faults from entering into the product, to remove faults before the product is released, and to measure a product's frequency profile against others in the same domain. Finally, the histories may indicate problems for which better methods are needed to prevent or detect, hence providing justification for research ideas.
Data and Analysis Center for Software Newsletter


failure history, information technology, reliability, software reliability


Wallace, D. (2000), Using Failure History to Improve Reliability in Information Technology, Data and Analysis Center for Software Newsletter (Accessed July 24, 2024)


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Created January 1, 2000, Updated February 17, 2017