CS 8317 (Spring 2022): Software Reliability and Safety

Prof. Jeff Tian, CS Dept., SMU, Dallas, TX 75275
Phone: (214)768-2861
tian@lyle.smu.edu; lyle.smu.edu/~tian/class/8317.22s

1. General Information

With the pervasive use of and reliance on software and software-intensive systems in computing devices, applications, networks/infrastructure, and services in modern society, ensuring software quality and dependability has become increasingly important. In this so-called connected world, software is an important building block, or an integral slice of the "building" itself.

This advanced course will cover two most important aspects of quality and dependability for such systems in depth: reliability, or the ability of a software to operate without failures, and safety, or the property of the system to be accident-free. Contrary to some commonly held misconceptions, safety is related to but not the same as security, probably due to the interchangeable use of the two terms in some circumstances.

After covering the fundamentals of software reliability engineering (SRE) and software safety engineering (SSE), we will focus on recent development in research and applications in the subject areas that may have a great practical impact and that may lead to subsequent innovative research, including recent work and publications from our research group at SMU.

CS 8317 will be organized as a research seminar, with active student participation, both as participating audience as well as presenters and discussion leaders of selected topics. This participatory nature is reflected in all the course elements and discussions/presentations topics.

2. Course Contents

After a brief introduction to SRE and SSE and their relationship to software quality and dependability, we will have in-depth discussions about several important topics concerning the measurement, analysis and improvement activities aimed at ensuring software reliability and safety for many kinds of systems and application domains. The major focus will be on three areas: For each of the above topics, after introducing the fundamental ideas and basic models and techniques, we will focus on recent development, and particularly relevant research done at SMU, including, adapting ODC originally developed for commercial software to other application domains and for other purposes, tree-based reliability modeling, data clustering and censoring techniques, prescriptive specification checking for hazard prevention, early estimation and risk management techniques for reliability and safety improvement, extension of SRE/SSE ideas to other quality/dependability aspects such as in usability evaluation and improvement, and new applications of SRE/SSE to web-based, cloud computing, and service-oriented systems.

3. Textbooks and Class Material

4. Workload and Grading

The course grade each student receives will reflect the weighted average of homework, a major project, a final quiz, and other assignments: The approximate weight assignment is as follows:

Notices and relevant SMU policies:

Prepared by Jeff Tian (tian@lyle.smu.edu).
Initially posted: March 17, 2022. Last update: March 17, 2022.

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