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Dramatic advances in computer and communication technologies have made it economically feasible to extend the use of embedded computer systems to more and more critical applications. At the same time, these embedded computer systems are becoming more complex and distributed. As the bulk of the complex application-specific logic of these systems is realized by software, the need for certifying software systems has grown substantially. While relatively mature techniques exist for certifying hardware systems, methods of rigorously certifying software systems are still being actively researched. Possible certification methods for embedded software systems range from formal verification to statistical testing. These methods have different strengths and weaknesses and can be used to complement each other. One potentially useful approach is to decompose the specification into distinct aspects that can be independently certified using the method that is most effective for it. Even though substantial research has been carried out to reduce the complexity of the software system through decomposition, one major hurdle is the need to certify the overall system on the basis of the aspect properties. One way to address this issue is to focus on architectures in which the aspects are relatively independent of each other. However, complex embedded systems are typically comprised of multiple architectures. In this paper, we present an alternative approach based on the use of application-oriented frameworks for implementing embedded systems. We show that it is possible to design such frameworks for embedded applications and derive expressions for determining the system reliability from the reliabilities of the framework and the aspects. The method is illustrated using a distributed multimedia collaboration system.
Distributed embedded systems, software composition, application-oriented frameworks, software reliability assessment.

I. Chen, F. B. Bastani, S. Kim and I. Yen, "Systematic Reliability Analysis of a Class of Application-Specific Embedded Software Frameworks," in IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 30, no. , pp. 218-230, 2004.
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