Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell'Informazione     
Simoncini L., Strigini L. Computers in critical environments : past mishaps and lessons to be learned. In: 11th International Conference on Fault Tolerant Systems and Diagnostics. (Suhl, German Democratic Republic, June 1988). Proceedings, vol. 1 pp. 54 - 62. 1988.
With the growing responsibilities being placed upon computers in modern society, the number of recorded accidents caused by computer failures has now become rather large. The kind of mishaps recorded include such diverse events as the loss of combat aircraft, the improper distribution of money by an automatic bank teller machine, and the accidental killing of a patient by therapeutic equipment. The use of computers, which is a potential source of great improvements in the performance of systems and organizations, is limited by a justified fear of such problems. This paper briefly discusses some examples of computer-related accidents and offers some considerations about what can be learned from them, and which kind of advances are needed in our knowledge to contain this kind of risk.

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