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Trusting computers through trusting humans: software verification in a safety-critical information system

Adam, AE and Spedding, PR 2007, 'Trusting computers through trusting humans: software verification in a safety-critical information system' , International Journal of Technology and Human Interaction, 3 (4) , pp. 1-14.

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Abstract

This article considers the question of how we may trust automatically generated program code. The code walkthroughs and inspections of software engineering mimic the ways that mathematicians go about assuring themselves that a mathematical proof is true. Mathematicians have difficulty accepting a computer generated proof because they cannot go through the social processes of trusting its construction. Similarly, those involved in accepting a proof of a computer system or computer generated code cannot go through their traditional processes of trust. The process of software verification is bound up in software quality assurance procedures, which are themselves subject to commercial pressures. Quality standards, including military standards, have procedures for human trust designed into them. An action research case study of an avionics system within a military aircraft company illustrates these points, where the software quality assurance (SQA) procedures were incommensurable with the use of automatically generated code.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Proof, safety-critical systems, software verification, software quality assurance, trust
Themes: Subjects / Themes > Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA075 Electronic computers. Computer science > QA076 Computer software
Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences
Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences
Colleges and Schools > College of Health & Social Care > School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work & Social Sciences > Centre for Social Research
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Technology and Human Interaction
Publisher: Idea Group Inc (IGI) Publishing
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 15483908
Depositing User: Institutional Repository
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2009 14:54
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 16:56
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/1835

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