Empirical evaluation of accuracy of mathematical software used for availability assessment of fault-tolerant computer systems

Kharchenko, V. S.; Popov, P. T.; Odarushchenko, O.; Zhadan, V. (2012)
International Group on Reliability
Dependability assessment is typically based on complex probabilistic models. Markov and semi-Markov models are widely used to model dependability of complex hardware/software architectures. Solving such models, especially when they are stiff, is not trivial and is usually done using sophisticated mathematical software packages. We report a practical experience of comparing the accuracy of solutions stiff Markov models obtained using well known commercial and research software packages. The study is conducted on a contrived but realistic cases study of computer system with hardware redundancy and diverse software under the assumptions that the rate of failure of software may vary over time, a realistic assumption. We observe that the disagreement between the solutions obtained with the different packages may be very significant. We discuss these findings and directions for future research.

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