Analysing high-integrity systems

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Computers are being used increasingly in systems where the cost of error or failure might be extremely high. Some systems depend upon computers to maintain safety or contribute to the maintenance of safety. Examples include the primary protection system for certain nuclear reactors and advanced flight control systems such as those of the A320 Airbus (often erroneously termed 'fly-by-wire' systems). In other systems, incorrect operation may pose a threat to security, e.g. compromising the confidentiality and integrity of certain military information. Costs of failure may simply be financial, e.g. the unavailability of automated share dealing systems or banking systems. It is becoming increasingly common to talk about 'enterprise critical' systems whose failure could result in severe harm, e.g. bankruptcy, to an enterprise or organisation. The criticality of such systems means that all practical measures should be taken to ensure that the associated risks are tolerable. This implies (inter alia) that such systems (including the software components thereof) must be subject to extensive analysis and testing before they are deployed. In many cases there is a formal clearance or certification process prior to deployment.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)18 -23
JournalComputing & control engineering journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 1994


  • certification process
  • cost
  • enterprise critical systems
  • error
  • high-integrity systems
  • military information
  • safety
  • safety maintenance
  • security
  • system analysis
  • system failure
  • system testing
  • data integrity
  • fault tolerant computing
  • security of data
  • software reliability

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