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Scientists develop resilient computer systems

Computer scientists from the University of Southampton’s School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) are involved in an €18 million (£13.4m) EU project designed to make technology – from mobile phones to satellites – more robust and reliable.

With today’s computer systems complex and often susceptible to malicious attacks, it is becoming increasingly important to build-in resilience from the outset, rather than simply ‘adding it on’ at a later date.

The DEPLOY project will work across five of the most important sectors in industry today – transportation, automotive, space, telecommunication and business information – to create new ways of building resilient computer systems.

Professor Michael Butler, from ECS, comments: ‘What is encouraging about this project is that our industry partners are really enthusiastic and have recognised the importance of incorporating robust design into their computer systems. We are using mathematical models to provide analysis of these designs, which will help eliminate errors before the systems are put together.’

Scientists from the University of Southampton will work alongside academic partners from Newcastle University, University of Dusseldorf, ETH (Zurich) and Aabo Academy (Finland) and five leading European companies – Siemens, Bosch, Space Systems, Nokia and SAP (Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing).

Work being carried out will feed into projects such as the 2013 European Space Agency’s mission to explore Mercury and train security on the Paris Metro.

The scientists will be using formal engineering methods to analyse the resilience of each system and refining these in an industrial setting to ensure they meet the needs of an increasingly technological society.

A pilot will be set up in each different industry sector, which will be tested and developed for a year before going into production.

Helene Murphy | alfa
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