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1999 : Validation of Fault Tolerance Mechanisms in a Time Triggered Communication Protocol using Fault Injection

Ren� Hexel
The ability to tolerate faults during operation is one of the most important attributes of dependable distributed hard real-time systems. To obtain confidence in the fault tolerance mechanisms the design and development of such systems requires an accompanying test and validation environment. An important method for the assessment of the fault-management mechanisms of dependable systems is fault injection.

Fault injection fulfils two objectives during the evaluation of a dependable system. It provides a vital feedback for fault removal in the development process, and it allows dependablility forecasting for the system by accelerating the frequency of faults that would normally occur in the operational environment.

Traditionally, fault injection was carried out in a hardware-implemented fashion. Physical fault injection techniques were used on prototypes of fault tolerant systems. Recent studies, however, have proven software-implemented fault injection techniques to be a valuable, easy-to-control alternative to overcome many limitations of traditional hardware fault injection techniques.

The main contribution of the first part of this thesis is a fault injection environment combining hardware and software-implemented techniques to validate the fault hypothesis of a time-triggered communicaiton protocol for distributed hard real-time systems, TTP/C. The second part of the thesis presents an experimental evaluation of a TTP/C prototype cluster using these fault injection techniques. Over thirty million faults were injected in the communication system to evaluate its dependability and provide feedback for the continuing development of the communication protocol. The thesis concludes with a discussion of the results comparing the predicted and actual dependability measures gained from the performed experiments.

@phdthesis{ hexel:1999,
  author =      "René Hexel",
  title =       "Validation of Fault Tolerance Mechanisms in a Time Triggered Communication Protocol using Fault Injection",
  address =     "Treitlstr. 3/3/182-1, 1040 Vienna, Austria",
  school =      "Technische Universit{\"a}t Wien, Institut f{\"u}r Technische Informatik",
  year =        "1999"
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