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Detailed review of: 

Computing System Reliability: Models and Analysis





Kluwer Academic/ Plenum Publishers 




Min Xie, Yuan Shun Dai, Kim-Leng Poh 




Computing System Reliability: Models and Analysis


Year of Publication














Suprasad V. Amari

Status : Review published in IJPE, Vol. 3, No. 2, April 2007, p. 292.
Table of Contents
  1. Introduction   (5 pages)
  2. Basic Reliability Concepts and Analysis   (34 pages)
  3. Models for Hardware System Reliability   (30 pages)
  4. Models for Software Reliability   (41 pages)
  5. Models for Integrated Systems   (32 pages)
  6. Availability and Reliability of Distributed Computing Systems   (33 pages)
  7. Reliability of Grid Computing System   (27 pages)
  8. Multi-State System Reliability   (31 pages)
  9. Optimal System Design and Resource Allocation   (36 pages)
  • References  (15 pages)
  • Subject Index  (3 pages)

This book describes the basic models and approaches to the reliability analysis of computing systems. It is a timely publication on the important and growing subject of computing systems reliability, which has wide use in many areas including those in safety-critic

Computing System Reliability: Models and Analysis

al systems. In addition to providing extensive theoretical reviews, this book categorizes models into the following types: software, hardware, integrated hardware/software, distributed computing, grid computing, and multi-state systems.

Important features of this book are that it contains a comprehensive list of references (15 pages) and provides up-to-date information on tools and techniques available for computing system reliability modeling and analysis. The Notes and Reference section provided at the end of each chapter discusses current research trends and cites the related references, which is useful for researchers and students in their future study in this field. Further, this allows difficult details to be omitted so that the general audience is better served. Readers interested in the details can easily refer to the specified references for more information. Another important feature of this book is its emphasis on the "grid computing system" that has emerged as an important new field, distinguished from conventional distributed computing systems by its focus on large-scale resource sharing, innovative applications, and, in many cases, high-performance orientation.

The book begins with discussion on the need for computing system reliability analysis and related simple reliability concepts and modeling approaches. Chapter 2 provides basic definitions of various reliability measures and summarizes some common techniques for analyzing the computing system reliability. This chapter also introduces fundamentals of Markov processes and Nonhomogeneous Poisson processes (NHPP), which are the primary tools used in this book. Additionally, Chapter 2 provides sufficient reliability background for non-reliability professionals to understand the subject, given that they have some basic knowledge in probability theory and calculus.

Chapters 3 through 5 present important models for the reliability analysis of hardware, software, and integrated hardware/software systems, respectively. The emphasis on the integrated models helps readers to understand the interactions between hardware and software components, which is essential in accurately analyzing the reliability of computing systems. Chapters 6 and 7 present various distributed computing systems and the related advanced technology of grid computing systems. It also presents the reliability models for the different parts of the grid, including resource management system, large-scale network, and distributed software and resources. Chapter 8 presents reliability of multi-state systems, which is an advanced and important subject in analyzing gracefully degradable and/or multiple failure mode computing systems. Finally, Chapter 9 discusses optimal system design and resource allocation, which is an important decision-making problem to be solved in computing systems design.

The reviewer would like to recommend this book to all students and engineers who want to study, analyze, and design reliable computing systems. It can be used as a textbook for graduate and senior undergraduate courses on software reliability and computing systems reliability. It can also serve as reference book on this subject.


Suprasad V. Amari

Review published in the International Journal of Performability Engineering, Vol. 3, No. 2, April 2007, p. 292.



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