If Software Becomes Old, What Can We Do About It?

Lecture / Panel
For NYU Community

Speaker: Javier Alonso Lopez, University of Leon, Spain and Duke University

     Software failures and their underlying bugs are one of the most prevalent causes of system failures. New development methodologies, automatic testing, source code checking, and more sophisticated debugging techniques have been successful to significantly reduce the number of software bugs present when delivered for operation. A non-negligible fraction of bugs being still present during operation with potentially catastrophic consequences.

     Software faults have been classified according to different characteristics. We propose a new classification based on the software faults characteristics more than the type of triggers that make the software bug surface or the type of the software failure: classifying them into Bohrbugs, Mandelbugs, and Aging Related Mandelbugs. This theoretical classification has a practical usage: Each type of bug requires different mitigation techniques. A detailed study of software failures of 8 JPL/NASA missions will be presented analyzing the software bugs, failures and their mitigations from different aspects. Then, we will discuss one of these type of faults in detail: Aging related Mandelbugs. This type of bug causes some sort of aging phenomena that can be proactively/predictively prevented using software rejuvenation. We will discuss this approach presenting different solutions based on machine learning and statistical approaches and their performance and availability impact on the system.


Javier Alonso received the master’s degree in Computer Science in 2004 and the Ph.D. degree from the Technical University of Catalonia (Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, UPC) in 2011. From 2006 to 2011, he held an assistant lecturer position in the Computer Architecture Department of UPC. From 2011 to 2014 he held a Postdoctoral Associate position under the mentoring of Professor K.S. Trivedi, in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Duke University, Durham, NC. Currently, Dr. Alonso is the Research Manager and Acting Research Director at the Research Institute of Applied Sciences in Cybersecurity - University of Leon, Spain. He also holds a visiting Assistant Professor position at Duke University, USA. Dr. Alonso has published several papers about different aspects of software engineering with special interest on dependability, high availability, performance, software security and software aging in premier conferences and journals. His research interests are focused on design, develop and deploy robust and secure software systems. He is or has been involved in NASA, JPL/NASA, NEC, NATO, Huawei, WiPro funded projects. He is IEEE member.

For more information, contact Justin Cappos.