Availability analysis of software architecture decomposition alternatives for local recovery

Abstract

We present an efficient and easy-to-use methodology to predict—at design time—the availability of systems that support local recovery. Our analysis techniques work at the architectural level, where the software designer simply inputs the software modules’ decomposition annotated with failure and repair rates. From this decomposition, we automatically generate an analytical model (a continuous-time Markov chain), from which an availability measure is then computed, in a completely automated way. A crucial step is the use of intermediate models in the input/output interactive Markov chain formalism, which makes our techniques efficient, mathematically rigorous, and easy to adapt. In particular, we use aggressive minimization techniques to keep the size of the generated state spaces small. We have applied our methodology on a realistic case study, namely the MPlayer open-source software. We have investigated four different decomposition alternatives and compared our analytical results with the measured availability on a running MPlayer. We found that our predicted results closely match the measured ones .

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Notes

  1. 1.

    An important component used within a software architecture that supports local recovery.

  2. 2.

    Proactively restarting a software component to mitigate its aging and thus its failure.

  3. 3.

    Interaction between the RUs is redirected through Inter-Process Communication.

  4. 4.

    Modeled as part of the RM as mentioned in Sect. 4.

  5. 5.

    As described later, for each RU, two models are in fact generated.

  6. 6.

    The recovery time includes the time for restarting failed modules and also the time for error detection, error notification and diagnosis.

  7. 7.

    An exponential distribution might not be, in some cases, a realistic choice; however, it is also possible to use a phase-type distribution which approximates any distribution arbitrarily closely.

  8. 8.

    Note that these models are used for availability estimation only and they do not necessarily reflect software implementation. In an actual implementation, a module might not be aware of its failure to notify it. External error detection mechanisms can be employed (Sozer et al. 2009) for this purpose.

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Acknowledgments

We thank Pepijn Crouzen for his help using CADP and Boudewijn Haverkort for his comments on an earlier version of this paper. This work has been carried out as a part of the TRADER project under the responsibilities of the Embedded Systems Institute. This work is partially supported by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs under the BSIK program; by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) under FOCUS/BRICKS Grant Number 642.000.505 (MOQS); and by the EU under Grants Numbers IST-004527 (ARTIST2) and FP7-ICT-2007-1 (QUASIMODO).

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Sözer, H., Stoelinga, M., Boudali, H. et al. Availability analysis of software architecture decomposition alternatives for local recovery. Software Qual J 25, 553–579 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11219-016-9315-9

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Keywords

  • Dependability
  • Availability
  • Fault tolerance
  • Local recovery
  • Software architecture evaluation