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Building Functional Safety into Complex Software Systems, Part I

January 2011
12 pages
Building Functional Safety into Complex Software Systems, Part I

Proofs that software systems meet standards for functional safety have depended on exhaustive testing. This method is inadequate for todays multi-threaded systems, whose complexity precludes their being treated as deterministic systems in practice.

In Part I of this whitepaper series we discuss the limits of testing of complex software systems, and some factors that should be weighed when deciding how to build complex software systems that must meet functional safety standards.


Safety-related Systems Functional Safety in Software The End of Deterministic Systems Functional Safety with SOUP Conclusion [+]

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Chris Hobbs

Chris Hobbs

Chris Hobbs is a kernel developer at QNX, specializing in "sufficiently-available" software: software created with the minimum development effort to meet the availability and reliability needs of the customer; and in producing safe software (in conformance with IEC61508 SIL3). He is also a specialist in WBEM/CIM device, network and service management, and the author of A Practical Approach to WBEM/CIM Management (2004).

In addition to his software development work, Chris is a flying instructor, a singer with a particular interest in Schubert's Lieder, and the author of several books, including Learning to Fly in Canada (2000) and The Largest Number Smaller than Five (2007). His blog, Software Musings, focuses "primarily on software and analytical philosophy".

Chris Hobbs earned a B.Sc., Honours in Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Philosophy at the University of London's Queen Mary and Westfield College.

See Also...

Fault Tree Analysis with Bayesian Belief Networks for Safety-Critical Software

Protecting Applications Against Heisenbugs

Using an IEC 61508-Certified RTOS Kernel for Safety-Critical Systems

Building Functional Safety into Complex Software Systems, Part II

Other whitepaper topics: Recent, Automotive, German Whitepapers, HMI + Graphics, Industrial, Medical, Multimedia + Acoustics, Networking, Operating Systems, Security + Defense, Safe Systems, Tools