[Beowulf] Curious about ECC vs non-ECC in practice
Lux, Jim (337C)
james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Tue May 24 10:06:15 PDT 2011
This *is* a big problem.
I suggest reading some of what Nancy Leveson has written.
"Professor Leveson started a new area of research, software safety, which is concerned with the problems of building software for real-time systems where failures can result in loss of life or property."
Two popular papers you might find interesting and fun to read:
"High-Pressure Steam Engines and Computer Software" (Postscript) or (PDF). This paper started as a keynote address at the International Conference on Software Engineering in Melbourne, Australia) and later was published in IEEE Software, October 1994.
"The Therac-25 Accidents" (Postscript ) or (PDF). This paper is an updated version of the original IEEE Computer (July 1993) article. It also appears in the appendix of my book.
There is a generic problem with complex systems, as well. "Normal Accidents" by Charles Perrow is a good work (if a bit frightening in some ways... not in a senseless fear-mongering way, but because he lays out the fundamental reasons why these things are inevitable)
Marais, Dulac, and Leveson argue that the world isn't as bad as Perrow says, though.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org [mailto:beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org] On Behalf Of David Mathog
> Sent: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 8:42 AM
> To: beowulf at beowulf.org
> Subject: Re: [Beowulf] Curious about ECC vs non-ECC in practice
> Joe Landman wrote:
> > I am wondering about this for larger systems.
> Your post makes me wonder about ECC in much smaller systems, like
> dedicated single computers controlling machinery or medical devices.
> Some really nasty things could result from "move cutting head in X
> (int32 value) mm" after the most significant bit in the int32 value has
> David Mathog
> mathog at caltech.edu
> Manager, Sequence Analysis Facility, Biology Division, Caltech
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