Saturday, December 26, 2009

Epistemic Questions in Software System Safety

C. Michael Holloway presented an interesting paper [Towards a Comprehensive Consideration of Epistemic Questions in Software System Safety] at the 4th System Safety Conference 2009; coauthored with Chris W. Johnson, which you can watch here:

Towards a Comprehensive Consideration of Epistemic Questions in Software System Safety

C M Holloway

From: 4th System safety conference 2009

2009-10-26 12:00:00.0 Manufacturing Channel

>> go to webcast>> recommend to friend

"For any system upon which lives depend, the system should not only be safe, but the designers, operators, and regulators of the system should also know that it is safe. For software intensive systems, universal agreement on what is necessary to justify knowledge of safety does not exist."
To sum up Michael's paper and presentation in a nutshell, Michael says that we are not asking the correct questions to know if our systems are safe. He explores the difference between believing the system is safe, thinking the system is safe, and knowing the system is safe. He covers twelve fundamental questions that we all need to agree on before we, as an industry, can agree our systems are safe. He has thirty questions in all that need to be asked. Many that are asked after there has been an accident. What additional questions would you ask to know if your system is truly safe?