Software Reliability and Dependability: a Roadmap

By Lorenzo Strigini and Bev Littlewood


Software's increasing role creates both requirements for being able to trust it more than before, and for more people to know how much they can trust their software. A sound engineering approach requires both techniques for producing reliability and sound assessment of the achieved results. Different parts of industry and society face different challenges: the need for education and cultural changes in some areas, the adaptation of known scientific results to practical use in others, and in others still the need to confront inherently hard problems of prediction and decision-making, both to clarify the limits of current understanding and to push them back. We outline the specific difficulties in applying a sound engineering approach to software reliability engineering, some of the current trends and problems and a set of issues that we therefore see as important in an agenda for research in software dependability.

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