Dependable Computing and Fault Tolerance News

March 30, 2012

2012 Jean-Claude Laprie Award in Dependable Computing

Today, IFIP Working Group 10.4 announced that three outstanding papers have been selected as winners of the 2012 Jean-Claude Laprie Award in Dependable Computing:

The paper by Algirdas Avižienis is recognized for its broad impact on the field of dependable computing. Indeed, this landmark paper was instrumental in defining fault-tolerant computing as a discipline. It laid out a preliminary description and methodology of the field – defining fault and error types, the use of various forms of protective redundancy and recovery techniques to continue operation in the presence of faults. Within three years of its publication, Avižienis became the founder of the IEEE CS Technical Committee on Fault­‐Tolerant Computing, and hosted the first FTCS in Pasadena, CA in March, 1971. The resulting research community has enriched the personal and professional lives of hundreds of scholars and engineers. The influence of this paper in a preliminary definition of the field was probably essential in these developments.

The notion of performability, as defined in the foundational paper by John Meyer, has had a profound impact on scientific research in the field. It is at the core of the dependability assessment of computing systems showing "degradable" levels of performance, rather than systems being simplistically characterized as working or not. The dependability, performance and software engineering communities have largely benefitted from the ideas conveyed by this paper. Performability is today among the most appropriate measures able to represent a variety of quality of service indicators, properly trading between risk and benefit from both a system developer and a user perspective.

The groundbreaking paper by Dave Patterson, Garth Gibson and Randy Katz introduced the concept of RAID, which rapidly became the common configuration paradigm for disks at all but the very low end of the server market. Its impact is primarily to industry where RAID was a truly disruptive technology. The RAID levels as defined in this paper persist to the present day. The paper familiarized development engineers who didn’t normally work in the area of High Availability or Fault Tolerance with the concepts of improving reliability and availability through redundancy.

Authors of the winning papers will be presented the award on June 26, 2012 in Boston, MA, USA, during the opening session of the 42nd Annual IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks (DSN).

About the Jean-Claude Laprie Award in Dependable Computing

The award was created in 2011, in honor of Jean-Claude Laprie (1944-2010), whose pioneering contributions to the concepts and methodologies of dependability were influential in defining and unifying the field of dependable and secure computing. The award recognizes outstanding papers that have significantly influenced the theory and/or practice of Dependable Computing.

About IFIP Working Group 10.4 on Dependable Computing and Fault Tolerance

IFIP Working Group 10.4 was established by the IFIP General Assembly in October 1980, and operates under IFIP Technical Committee TC-10, "Computer Systems Technology". Its charter is to identify and integrate approaches, methods and techniques for specifying, designing, building, assessing, validating, operating and maintaining computer systems so that justified reliance can be placed on the service they deliver, i.e., systems that are reliable, available, safe and/or secure.