Invited Talk

Jeffrey Voas
Software's "Inoperable" Interoperability Problem
Developing systems in isolation and then assuming that they will magically interoperate is how many systems of systems (SoS) are architected today. Collections of existing components that were never meant to be inter-connected become joined, and then the hope is that software glue will correctly integrate them. Unfortunately, most components are developed under assumptions about particular environments, missions, and forms of usage. And when these components are connected to other systems, problems such as failure-intolerance and interference cause serious problems for the SoS since the assumptions are no longer valid. Therefore the acquisition process for individual software components is very important. Quantitative and qualitative component tolerances must play a key system-centric role, and be available when acquisition decisions and policies are made. This talk will focus on how to place appropriate tolerances (e.g., availability, reliability, security, safety, fault-tolerance, performance, etc.) on component suppliers such that integrators and acquisition personal know a priori the interoperability of their purchases. And the talk will also discuss how product certification of software components can play a role in predicting a priori whether certain components are appropriate for an integration effort or not. If possible, much re-work and risk can be mitigated.

Jeffrey Voas is the Chief Scientist of Cigital Incorporated. Voas has coauthored two Wiley books: (1) Software Assessment: Reliability, Safety, Testability (1995), and (2) Software Fault Injection: Inoculating Programs Against Errors (1998). Voas was the General Chair for COMPASS'97, Program Chair for ISSRE'99, Program Co-Chair for ICSM 2000, Program Chair for ECBS 2001, Program Co-Chair for COMPSAC'03, and Program Co-Chair for ISSRE'04. Voas is a Senior Member of the IEEE, received a Ph.D. in computer science from the College of William & Mary in 1990, was named the 1999 Young Engineer of the Year by the District of Columbia Council of Engineering and Architectural Societies, and completed a post-doc at NASA-Langley in 1992. Voas serves on the Editorial Board for The Software Quality Journal, Software Quality Professional Journal, Information and Software Technology Journal, and IT Professional magazine, and just completed a four year term as the Associate Editor in Chief of IEEE Software magazine. He is also the 2003-2004 President of the IEEE Reliability Society, and was co-named the 2000 IEEE Reliability Engineer of the Year. Voas's research interests include software reliability, safety, fault tolerance, metrics and measurement, standards, software certification, and product liability, and Voas has given numerous talks and seminars worldwide.