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Toward a More Reliable Theory of Software Reliability
December 2000 (vol. 33 no. 12)
pp. 36-42

The notions of time and the operational profile incorporated into software reliability are incomplete. The authors assert that reliability should be redefined as a function of application complexity, test effectiveness, and operating environment. Errors made during software development and testing often cause post-release software failures. Software reliability theory is one of industry's seminal approaches for predicting the likelihood of software field failures.

Software reliability theory seems to work accurately in telecommunications and aerospace. Governments regulate product quality in these two fields, whereas in other disciplines, quality has historically been an add-on, of lesser market value than feature richness or short release cycles. Today, accurate quality measurement cannot be confined to particular industries; it is especially needed in shrink-wrap software.

The authors' goal is to create a dialogue in the reliability community and to identify a technology base that will widen interest in software reliability among practitioners outside the telecom and aero-space domains. They propose a new method for software reliability research. They challenge the software reliability community to consider these ideas in future models.

Citation:
James A. Whittaker, Jeffrey Voas, "Toward a More Reliable Theory of Software Reliability," Computer, vol. 33, no. 12, pp. 36-42, Dec. 2000, doi:10.1109/2.889091
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