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A 'Crystal Ball' for Software Liability
June 1997 (vol. 30 no. 6)
pp. 29-36

Software developers are living in a liability grace period, but it won't last. To adequately insure themselves against potential liability, developers need tools to identify worst-case scenarios and help them quantify the risks associated with a piece of software.

For assessing such risks associated with software, the authors recommend fault injection, which provides worst-case predictions about how badly a piece of code might behave and how frequently it might behave that way. By contrast, software testing states how good software is. But even correct code can have "bad days," when external influences keep it from working as desired.

Fault injection is arguably the next best thing to having a crystal ball, and it certainly beats facing the future with no predictions at all. It should be a regular part of risk assessment. The greatest benefit from fault injection occurs when a piece of software does not tolerate injected anomalies. False optimism gives way to the only honest claim-that the software presents risks.

Citation:
Jeffrey Voas, Gary McGraw, Lora Kassab, Larry Voas, "A 'Crystal Ball' for Software Liability," Computer, vol. 30, no. 6, pp. 29-36, June 1997, doi:10.1109/2.587545
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