Safety critical systems: challenges and directions
Safety-critical systems are those systems whose failure could result in loss of life, significant property damage, or damage to the environment. There are many well known examples in application areas such as medical devices, aircraft flight control, weapons, and nuclear systems. Many modern information systems are becoming safety-critical in a general sense because financial loss and even loss of life can result from their failure. Future safety-critical systems will be more common and more powerful. From a software perspective, developing safety critical systems in the numbers required and with adequate dependability is going to require significant advances in areas such as specification, architecture, verification, and process. The very visible problems that have arisen in the area of information-system security suggests that security is a major challenge also.