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Comparing Operating Systems Using Robustness Benchmarks

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journal contribution
posted on 01.01.1997 by Philip Koopman, John Sung, Christopher Dingman, Daniel Siewiorek, Ted Marz

When creating mission-critical distributed systems using off-the-shelf components, it is important to assess the dependability of not only the hardware, but the software as well. This paper proposes a way to test operating system dependability. The concept of response regions is presented as a way to visualize erroneous system behavior and gain insight into failure mechanisms. A5-point “CRASH” scale is defined for grading the severity of robustness vulnerabilities encountered. Test results from five operating systems are analyzed for robustness vulnerabilities, and exhibit a range of dependability. Robustness benchmarking comparisons of this type may provide important information to both users and designers of off-the-shelf software for dependable systems.


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