Accession Number : ADA019349

Title :   Software Reliability: Philosophical Underpinnings,

Corporate Author : RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CALIF

Personal Author(s) : Gammill,Robert C.

Report Date : OCT 1974

Pagination or Media Count : 21

Abstract : Reliability is a desirable trait in people, machines, software, and systems composed of them. However, it is only one of many traits which may be essential to satisfactory performance. An overemphasis upon reliability could necessitate a decrease in other desirable traits which may be more important in a specific situation. A personnel director told only to hire reliable people might hire people suited for work requiring trustworthiness, but completely unsuited for creative labor. Even with respect to reliability itself, careful distinctions must be made. The Nuremberg and Watergate trials delineate some differences between narrow and broad definitions of reliability. A reliable subordinate, in the sense of carrying out commands, may be extremely unreliable in a moral sense. Most definitions of reliable software seem to depend upon a narrow definition of reliability, which assumes that the commander is reliable, and so on back to the source of commands. Such as approach requires that the source be reliable in a broad sense. The world has ample evidence that such a definition is too narrow.

Descriptors :   *Computer program documentation, Reliability, Management planning and control, Automation, Human factors engineering, Behavioral science, Methodology, Compilers, Economics, Data banks, Costs, High reliability, Fault tolerant computing

Subject Categories : Computer Programming and Software

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE