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DLS: Brian Randell: Dependable Pervasive Systems

Event Type
co-sponsored by the Coordinated Science Laboratory, the Department of Computer Science, and the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Beckman Institute Auditorium
Nov 2, 2005   4:00 pm  
Originating Calendar
Information Trust Institute (ITI) archival calendar


Present trends indicate that huge networked computer systems are likely to become pervasive, as information technology is embedded into virtually everything, and to be required to function essentially continuously. This talk is based on a study, co-authored with Prof. Cliff Jones, undertaken for the recent UK Government Foresight Report on Cyber Trust and Crime Prevention. In this report we argued that even today's (under-used) "best practice" regarding the achievement of high dependability - reliability, availability, security, safety, etc. - from large networked computer systems will not suffice for future pervasive systems. We summarized the current state of research into the four basic dependability technologies: fault prevention, removal, tolerance, and forecasting, claimed that much further research is required on all four technologies in order to cope with pervasive systems, and discussed how this research could best be aimed at making system dependability into a "commodity" that industry can value and from which it can profit.

Reception to follow in 5269 Beckman.


Brian Randell graduated in Mathematics from Imperial College, London in 1957 and joined the English Electric Company, where he led a team that implemented a number of compilers, including the Whetstone KDF9 Algol compiler. From 1964 to 1969 he was with IBM in the United States, mainly at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, working on operating systems, the design of ultra-high-speed computers, and computing system design methodology. He then became Professor of Computing Science at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, where in 1971 he set up the project that initiated research into the possibility of software fault tolerance, and introduced the "recovery block" concept. Subsequent major developments included the Newcastle Connection and the prototype Distributed Secure System. He has been Principal Investigator on a succession of research projects in reliability and security funded by the Science Research Council (now Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council), the Ministry of Defence, and the European Strategic Programme of Research in Information Technology (ESPRIT), and now the European Information Society Technologies (IST) Programme. Most recently he has had the role of Project Director of CaberNet (the IST Network of Excellence on Distributed Computing Systems Architectures), and of two IST Research Projects, MAFTIA (Malicious- and Accidental-Fault Tolerance for Internet Applications) and DSoS (Dependable Systems of Systems). He has published nearly two hundred technical papers and reports, and is co-author or editor of seven books. He is now Emeritus Professor of Computing Science, and Senior Research Investigator, at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He was a Member of the Conseil Scientifique of the CNRS, France (2001-5), is Chairman of the IEEE John von Neumann Medal Committee, and has received the IEEE Emanuel R. Piore 2002 Award and Honorary Doctorates from the University of Rennes and the Institut National Polytechnique of Toulouse, France.

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