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Software Reliability


EMR Proposal SoSoS Development Methodologies for Secure System Evolution

Principal Investigator: Prof Robin Bloomfield

Contact People :  Prof Robin Bloomfield

Funding source: Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) of UK Ministry of Defence (MoD)

Duration: September 2007 - July 2008


The project will research methods for evaluating the resilience of secure, boundary less, evolving socio-technical SoS. The initial work will explore the underlying concepts and the types of assessment techniques that will be required. It will be focused by the same drivers as the SoSoS research, namely that existing evaluation methods for systems, designed as they are for bespoke systems, are not applicable to dynamic SoS configurations of commercially developed systems of uncertain provenance. The benefits to Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) would be seeing relevant research aligned with its priorities and leveraged off other activities especially INDEED, IRRIIS and ReSIST and our knowledge of the work of IT centric IRCs, DIRC , AKT and Equator.

There will be a number of objectives for the project. In terms of scientific research it is to:

  • Define the research challenge in the 2027 timeframe for the evaluation of dependability and security of large scale, complex, socio-technical systems.
  • Identify present capabilities and gaps.
  • Engage with selected problems.

The work will be undertaken within the context of SoSoS research theme on the Development Methodologies for Secure System Evolution. It would be split into the following tasks:

  • Task1: Define and characterise the 2027 research challenge by a review of existing road maps, technology watch papers and by brainstorming with DSTL (and NATO) contacts. We already have familiarity with some of these documents.
  • Task 2: Characterise the present state of the art in assessment of SoS of COTS based components and in particular explain and understand why existing methods do not either scale or otherwise translate to the SoSoS context.
  • Task 3: Characterise the research challenge by addressing the INDEED themes of adaptation and diversity; confidence and uncertainty; time and structure and responsibility and trust. We would consider issues from the perspectives of:
    • probabilistic approaches to diversity and adaptation in socio-technical systems that incorporate changing perceptions of dependability, learning and adaptation with experience.
    • models of organisational responsibility and the underlying trust between agents.
    • argument modelling approaches that address confidence, uncertainty and diversity and by using trust models to support the presentation of assurance cases.
    • the notion of timebands as structuring mechanism.

CSR Personnel: Prof Robin Bloomfield, Dr Ilir Gashi 

Project Report:

CSR produced the final report to DSTL, titled "Evaluating the resilience and security of boundaryless, evolving socio-technical Systems of Systems" at the end of July 2008. The report was updated in September 2008. The latest version of the report can be downloaded from here.

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version 2.2 Published: 19th Mar 2009