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Title: Towards the design of efficient error detection mechanisms
Author: Leeke, Matthew
ISNI:       0000 0004 2725 2232
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2011
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The pervasive nature of modern computer systems has led to an increase in our reliance on such systems to provide correct and timely services. Moreover, as the functionality of computer systems is being increasingly defined in software, it is imperative that software be dependable. It has previously been shown that a fault intolerant software system can be made fault tolerant through the design and deployment of software mechanisms implementing abstract artefacts known as error detection mechanisms (EDMs) and error recovery mechanisms (ERMs), hence the design of these components is central to the design of dependable software systems. The EDM design problem, which relates to the construction of a boolean predicate over a set of program variables, is inherently difficult, with current approaches relying on system specifications and the experience of software engineers. As this process necessarily entails the identification and incorporation of program variables by an error detection predicate, this thesis seeks to address the EDM design problem from a novel variable-centric perspective, with the research presented supporting the thesis that, where it exists under the assumed system model, an efficient EDM consists of a set of critical variables. In particular, this research proposes (i) a metric suite that can be used to generate a relative ranking of the program variables in a software with respect to their criticality, (ii) a systematic approach for the generation of highly-efficient error detection predicates for EDMs, and (iii) an approach for dependability enhancement based on the protection of critical variables using software wrappers that implement error detection and correction predicates that are known to be efficient. This research substantiates the thesis that an efficient EDM contains a set of critical variables on the basis that (i) the proposed metric suite is able, through application of an appropriate threshold, to identify critical variables, (ii) efficient EDMs can be constructed based only on the critical variables identified by the metric suite, and (iii) the criticality of the identified variables can be shown to extend across a software module such that an efficient EDM designed for that software module should seek to determine the correctness of the identified variables.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of Warwick. Dept. of Computer Science ; Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) ; International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QA76 Electronic computers. Computer science. Computer software