The effect of diverse development goals on computer-based system dependability
Society's increasing dependence upon software control and information process- ing provision has demanded comparable increases in software dependability. While the existing software dependability approach has resulted in significant improve- ments, its focus is heavily aimed towards achieving software dependability via redundant fault-tolerant mechanisms built into the software artifact to provide error-control in the presence of activated faults. Less emphasis appears to have been placed upon how software dependability can also be promoted through a fault-avoidance approach in the software creation process by incorporating hu- man redundancy and diversity. In this thesis, a process intervention which can potentially improve fault-avoidance is considered. This involves the setting of diverse development goals within important generic computer-based system con- texts in order to increase detection of potentially harmful assumptions which can result in subtle systemic conflicts that can undermine the dependability of the re- sultant artifact during the early development phases of requirements, specification and design. A search theoretic simulation model is progressed and developed to capture some of the important dynamics involved. The eventual outputs of the simulation model indicate that increased fault coverage and sensitivity can be ob- tained through the setting of diverse development goals during the early phases of software development.