The Centre for Software Reliability (CSR) at City University is an independent Research Centre in the School of Informatics, founded in 1983. Over the years, CSR has attracted over £6 million of international and UK research funding, and has built an international reputation for research achievements in the areas of:
- Software dependability (particularly safety and reliability) modelling
- Software fault tolerance
- Software metrics and quality assurance
- Fundamental issues for safety critical systems
- Developing novel techniques and tools for assessing software reliability
- Providing a formal foundation for the software metrics area
- Defining the limits for evaluating systems with ultra-high reliability requirements
- Developing models of common-mode failures in diverse and redundant systems
- Developing novel mechanisms for software fault-tolerance
- Producing a comprehensive framework for software data collection
- Developing a widely-used method for assessing efficacy of software standards and methods
- Developing a new understanding of the fundamentals of software testing
Most of CSR's research has been supported in recent years by funding from the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Science Research Council) and the European Union through the Framework Programmes. Other funding has come from industry, such as, Scottish Nuclear, Rolls Royce, the European Space Agency, the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA), NASA, NATO, and the U.K's Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
CSR is one of the world's major players in dependability research, and has collaborated with most of the others over the years. In the UK, recent academic collaborators in several projects include the universities of Newcastle, York, Edinburgh, Lancaster, Bristol and Royal Holloway College. In Europe we have worked with, among others: Université Paris-Sud; LAAS-CNRS, Toulouse; IEI-CNR, Pisa; EPFL, Lausanne; Universitat Ulm; Universitat Karlsruhe; Technische Universitat, Vienna; Chalmers University, Gothenberg; University of Florence; University of Coimbra; Budapest University of Technology and Economics; University of Lisbon; Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas; Technische Universität Darmstadt; Institut Eurécom Nice; University of Pisa; Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse; Università degli studi di Roma "La Sapienza"; Université de Rennes.
CSR prides itself on its close links with industry, which provide both a source of new technical problems, and a test-bed for the new techniques that it develops. CSR's research goal is to offer industry sound methods for evaluating and predicting, as well as achieving software dependability. Companies CSR has worked with recently include: Adelard, DERA (Defence Evaluation and Research Agency), ERA Technology, HUGIN Expert A/S (Denmark), T’V Nord (Germany) Electricit‰ de France, Objectif Technologie (France), ITEM Software, Lloyds' Register, Corelis (France), VTT (Finland), ENEA (Italy), British Rail, Brameur, Secure Information Systems.
CSR staff teach undergraduate and postgraduate courses within City University, as well as one-week courses to industry on software reliability, software metrics and fault-tolerant design of computer systems.
CSR staff work with various advisory and standards committees and governmental bodies. Details can be found in the pages of the individual staff members. Some examples:
- ERTMS: CSR completed a study into the security of the European Railway Traffic Management System (ERTMS) that was commissioned on behalf of the UK railway industry.
- DSTL: CSR produced a report for DSTL (Defence Science Technology Laboratory) titled "Evaluating the resilience and security of boundaryless, evolving socio-technical Systems of Systems". More details of this project can be found here while the report can be downloaded from here.
- Study Group on the Safety of Operational Computer Systems: This Study Group was set up in 1995 by the U.K. Health and Safety Commission's Nuclear Safety Advisory Committee (NuSAC), under the chairmanship of CSR's Prof. Bev Littlewood (who is a member of the Committee) to advise on the use of software-based safety-critical systems in the nuclear industry. It reported to the HSC in late 1998, and the report has been published by HSE Books (ISBN 0 7176 1620 7).The report has an extensive review of the problems and advantages in using computer systems in safety roles, which is accessible to a 'lay' reader, as well as more specialist technical advice and recommendations. For a summary and information about obtaining a copy refer to the HSE's press release.
- Guidance on statistical testing of software: CSR (acting as a consultant to Intecs Sistemi S.p.A.) produced for the European Space Agency a guideline document for the statistical testing of software, intended by the agency as a means for introducing statistical testing in the software life cycle for space projects. For further information contact Prof. Lorenzo Strigini.
CSR members consult widely in the areas of software engineering, reliability and safety, software testing, fault tolerance, and decision support.