The design of fault tolerant software for loosely coupled distributed systems


Requirements for systems to continue to operate satisfactorily in the presence of faults has led to the development of techniques for the construction of fault tolerant software. This thesis addresses the problem of error detection and recovery in distributed systems which consist of a set of communicating sequential processes. A method is presented for the `a priori' design of conversations for this class of distributed system. Petri nets are used to represent the state and to solve state reachability problems for concurrent systems. The dynamic behaviour of the system can be characterised by a state-change table derived from the state reachability tree. Systematic conversation generation is possible by defining a closed boundary on any branch of the state-change table. By relating the state-change table to process attributes it ensures all necessary processes are included in the conversation. The method also ensures properly nested conversations. An implementation of the conversation scheme using the concurrent language occam is proposed. The structure of the conversation is defined using the special features of occam. The proposed implementation gives a structure which is independent of the application and is independent of the number of processes involved. Finally, the integrity of inter-process communications is investigated. The basic communication primitives used in message passing systems are seen to have deficiencies when applied to systems with safety implications. Using a Petri net model a boundary for a time-out mechanism is proposed which will increase the integrity of a system which involves inter-process communications.

Additional Information: Department: Computer Science Digitised thesis available via EThOS
Institution: Aston University
Uncontrolled Keywords: fault tolerant software,distributed systems
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2024 07:29
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2010 11:38
Completed Date: 1987
Authors: Tyrrell, Andrew M.


Item under embargo.

Export / Share Citation


Additional statistics for this record