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CONTACT: Amy Smorodin
May 9 , 2007
(202) 289-8928
Software Dependability Increasingly Vital
Wallsten and NRC Offer Recommendations to Developers, Researchers

WASHINGTON D.C. - The reliability of software used in infrastructure, transportation, health care and other civic industries is becoming increasingly important. Researchers and academics offer recommendations in "Software for Dependable Systems: Sufficient Evidence?" a report released today by the National Research Council of the National Academies. Scott Wallsten, Senior Fellow and Director of Communications Policy Studies at The Progress & Freedom Foundation, is a member of the Committee on Certifiably Dependable Software Systems of the National Academies which issued the report.

"The Committee included a wide range of views from industry and academia. We quickly realized that little empirical evidence on software reliability exists," states Wallsten. "I hope that we help move the debate beyond simply noting that software is critical to thinking about what 'critical' and 'dependable' actually mean in different contexts and how we might measure them."

The report notes that software development could be improved, but concludes that more information on software failures is needed for a thorough assessment of the software industry.

The committee also offers recommendations for software developers and research organizations. These recommendations include making a case for dependability by concentrating on "explicitness, evidence and expertise;" accounting for security risks; and making basic research a priority for federal agencies that support technology development. A complete list of recommendations is listed in the report.

"Software for Dependable Systems: Sufficient Evidence?" can be found on the National Academies website.

The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.



The Progress & Freedom Foundation