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System Design and Structuring for Dependability

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Brian RandellORCiD



The complexity of a large and sophisticated computing system can be reduced significantly by ensuring that the system is constructed out of a well-chosen set of largely independent components, whose normal and exceptional interactions are properly dermed and well-understood. However the task of structuring a system, i.e. of choosing and defining appropriate components, can be very difficult. This paper describes a technique of system structuring which involves distinguishing the functionality which a system is intended to have from other desirable attributes, including such aspects of dependability as reliability and security. Separate components are then used to provide each of these attributes, in the framework of a hierarchical exception handling scheme. Various UNIX-based components which have been implemented at Newcastle are used to illustrate this approach.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Randell B

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title: Computing Laboratory Technical Report Series

Year: 1987

Pages: 30

Report Number: 232

Institution: Computing Laboratory, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Place Published: Newcastle upon Tyne