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Dependability Cases

May 2004 Technical Note
Charles B. Weinstock, John B. Goodenough, John J. Hudak

In this 2004 report, the authors explain how to create a dependability case for a system that helps identify and keep track of details of large systems.

Publisher:

Software Engineering Institute

CMU/SEI Report Number

CMU/SEI-2004-TN-016

Abstract

Many large software systems display fragility or a lack of dependability caused by inattention to details at various stages of development (e.g., missing data, undocumented assumptions, lack of testing), resulting in a failure to catch errors. This technical note explains how to create a dependability case for a system that helps identify and keep track of such details. A dependability case is defined here as a structured argument providing evidence that a system meets its specified dependability requirements. The technical note describes how to structure the argument and present evidence to support it. A sample problem is presented, as well as issues raised by that problem and future goals.