Prediction of Non-Functional Properties of Service-Based Systems: A Software Reliability Model

Prediction of Non-Functional Properties of Service-Based Systems: A Software Reliability Model

Adel Taweel (King’s College London, UK) and Gareth Tyson (King’s College London, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-456-7.ch302
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Abstract

From the outset, service-based systems offer several advantages, including the promise of shortening the development life cycle, reducing the costs of software development and faster utilisation of recent technical improvements in the software industry in terms of capability, reliability, compatibility, performance, and so forth. However, this is rarely realised in practice. An important issue of service-based systems is that they are likely to be (or perhaps already being) used in domains where human life and/or economic loss are possible and the need for a highly reliable system is a must. However, would it be possible to build reliable service-based systems that meet such domains’ requirements? Does it necessarily mean that composing a system from highly reliable services produce a highly reliable system? Is it possible to predict quality attributes of a service-based system from its services before building it? In this chapter, the complexity of this issue is highlighted, focusing on reliability, in an attempt to answer some of these questions. The chapter outlines various approaches that attempt to address this issue, and proposes a possible way forward for predicting the reliability of service-based systems from its individual services.
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Background

Large scale distributed service oriented systems are increasingly becoming used in industry and commercial settings. They are offering the rapid development throughput that software industry needs to stay competitive. However, one of the main issues is creating re-usable services that can be used to serve different purposes and different types of systems in different domains. Standardisation is a key issue for providing standard interfaces to enable flexible integration [Wallnau, 2003]. As different domains have different demands and expectation, it is becoming critical that services not only meet functional requirements but also non-functional requirements. Domains such as banking, retail and manufacturing require systems to provide real-time, highly reliable, secure, and safe functionality where potentially human-life or economic loss is possible. In such environments, non-functional requirement specifications are not a commodity but necessity.

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