5th International Conference on the Quality of Information and Communications Technology

Qualidade: a ponte para o futuro nas TIC

Porto, Portugal. 18-20 Outubro, 2004






Title: Verification and Validation: Focus on Safety and Dependability

Abstract: Computers are increasingly being introduced into critical systems being an integral part of everyday systems upon which millions of lives depend. Even the most expensive, fully tested and independently certified system can fail months or even years afterwards. Software fault prevention, fault tolerance, fault removal and fault forecasting are the techniques to be used for software in critical systems as the contributors to its safety and reliability.

The problem is about the immaturity existing today on the techniques to be used in any of above mentioned software fault handling mechanisms.

For example, a combination of two techniques, first an SFMEA (Software Failure Mode and Effects Analysis) followed by SFTA (Software Fault Tree Analysis), is used at SoftWcare in this sequential order to analyze safety and reliability of systems containing critical software. This paper will focus on the results of real case studies to demonstrate the usefulness of this method in different domains of application. Experiences contributing to the improvement and effectiveness of the method itself will also be presented.

We can also present different fault tolerance techniques used in real cases, and about fault prevention ones.

Schedule: Tuesday, 9.00

Speaker: Patricia Rodriguez Dapena (SoftWcare)

Brief CV: Software Engineer since 1987 by the Politechnical University in Madrid and Ph.D. by the Technical University of Eindhoven. After few years in different companies in Spain she joined the European Space Agency as a staff member (8 years) performing software product assurance activities first and software engineering activities later. Back to Spain she founded: SoftWcare S.L. ( in 2001, located in Vigo (Galicia – North of Spain), dedicated to both ISVV and SW safety and dependability evaluations (using SFMECA and SFTA techniques, for example) and software process assessments and improvement. She is dedicated to both areas, performing software process assessment and improvement activities to different small and medium companies as well as to multinational ones and in addition, she performs criticality analyses critical SW products in domains like space, air traffic management and the automotive domains. She is also performing some standardization activities in different application domains (medical, ISO, IEEE, EUROCONTROL, etc) and currently being the editor of both space domain standards ECSS-Q-80-03 – “Product Assurance - Methods and techniques to support the assessment of software dependability and safety” and the ECSS-Q-80-02 – “Product Assurance – Software process assessment and improvement”. In addition, she is the main tutor of SoftWcare’s training courses on software quality, software verification and validation, software engineering, software safety and dependability engineering and verification and software process assessment and improvement. She is a member of the EOQ SW committee since 1990.


Actualizado a 2004-08-25