Advertisement

The Effectiveness of Choice of Programming Language as a Diversity Seeking Decision

  • Meine J. P. van der Meulen
  • Miguel Revilla
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3463)

Abstract

Software reliability can be increased by using a diverse pair of programs (1-out-of-2 system), both written to the same specification. The improvement of the reliability of the pair versus the reliability of a single version depends on the degree of diversity of the programs. The choice of programming language has been suggested as an example of a diversity seeking decision. However, little is known about the validity of this recommendation. This paper assesses the effect of language on program diversity.

We compare the effects of the choice of programming language as a diversity seeking decision by using programs written to three different specifications in the “UVa Online Judge”. Thousands of programs have been written to these specifications; this makes it possible to provide statistical evidence.

The experiment shows that when the average probability of failure on demand (pfd) of the programs is high, the programs fail almost independently, and the choice of programming language does not make any difference. When the average pfd of the pools gets lower, the programs start to fail dependently, and the pfd of the pairs deviates more and more from the product of the pfds of the individual programs. Also, we observe that the diverse C/Pascal or C++/Pascal pairs perform as good as or better than the other possible pairs.

Keywords

Programming Language Program Version Software Reliability Individual Program Prime Time 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Brilliant, S.S., Knight, J.C., Leveson, N.G.: Analysis of Faults in an N-Version Software Experiment. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering SE-16(2), 238–247 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Voges, U.: Software diversity. Reliability Engineering and System Safety 43(2), 103–110 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Eckhardt, D.E., Lee, L.D.: A Theoretical Basis for the Analysis of Multi-Version Software Subject to Coincident Errors. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering SE-11(12), 1511–1517 (1985)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Eckhardt, D.E., Caglayan, A.K., Knight, J.C., Lee, L.D., McAllister, D.F., Vouk, M.A., Kelly, J.P.J.: An Experimental Evaluation of Software Redundancy as a Strategy for Improving Reliability. IEEE Transaction on Software Engineering 17(7) (July 1991)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Knight, J.C., Leveson, N.G.: An Experimental Evaluation of the Assumption of Independence in Multiversion Programming. IEEE Transaction on Software Engineering SE-12(1), 96–109 (1986)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hatton, L.: N-Version Design Versus One Good Version. IEEE Software 14, 71–76 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Littlewood, B., Miller, D.R.: Conceptual Modelling of Coincident Failures in Multiversion Software. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering 15(2), 1596–1614 (1989)CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lyu, M.R.: Software Reliability Eningeering. McGraw Hill, New York (1995)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Popov, P., Strigini, L., Romanovsky, A.: Choosing Effective Methods for Design Diversity - How to Progress from Intuition to Science. In: Felici, M., Kanoun, K., Pasquini, A. (eds.) SAFECOMP 1999. LNCS, vol. 1698, p. 272. Springer, Heidelberg (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Skiena, S., Revilla, M.: Programming Challenges. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)MATHGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Lee, P.A., Anderson, T.: Fault Tolerance; Principles and Practice. In: Dependable Computing and Fault-Tolerant Systems, 2nd edn., vol. 3, Revised Edition (1981)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Chen, L., Avizienis, A.: N-Version Programming: A Fault Tolerance Approach to Reliability of Software Operation. In: Digest of 8th Annual International Symposium on Fault Tolerant Computing, Toulouse, France, pp. 3–9 (June 1978)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    IEC, IEC61508: Functional Safety of E/E/PE safety-related systems, Geneva, 2001-2Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Meine J. P. van der Meulen
    • 1
  • Miguel Revilla
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Software ReliabilityCity UniversityLondon
  2. 2.Department of Applied MathematicsUniversity of ValladolidSpain

Personalised recommendations