2014 Jean-Claude Laprie Award Winners Announced

May 20, 2014 — Lisboa, Portugal

The Working Group 10.4 on Dependable Computing and Fault Tolerance (WG10.4) of the International Federation For Information Processing (IFIP) today announced the winners of the 2014 Jean-Claude Laprie Award in Dependable Computing. The Jean-Claude Laprie Award has been made annually since 2012 to recognize outstanding papers that have significantly influenced the theory and/or practice of Dependable Computing.

For 2014, the award committee decided to recognize three seminal papers in the award’s impact categories:

  • B. Randell, "System Structure for Software Fault Tolerance", IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol.SE-1, no.1, 1975, pp 220-232.
  • J.H. Wensley, L. Lamport, J. Goldberg, M.W. Green, K.N. Levitt, P.M. Melliar-Smith, R.E. Shostak, C.B. Weinstock, "SIFT: The Design and Analysis of a Fault-Tolerant Computer for Aircraft Control", Proceedings of the IEEE, vol.66, no.10, 1978, pp.1240-1255.
  • H. Kopetz, G. Bauer, "The Time-Triggered Architecture", Proceedings of the IEEE, vol.91, no.1, 2003, pp. 112-126.

Randell's System Structure for Software Fault Tolerance paper laid the foundations for several decades of research into computing systems capable of tolerating residual design faults in software. Until then, fault-tolerant computing had only been concerned with physical faults affecting computer hardware. This paper introduced the concept of redundancy of design (which we now call design diversity or design dissimilarity) in which multiple software components of independent design operate as a redundant set, in a way analogous to standby sparing in hardware. The concepts of recovery blocks, of checkpointing and recovery, and the domino effect, all of which became commonplace terms in decades of research on fault-tolerance, were introduced in this paper.

Wensley, Lamport, Goldberg, Green, Levitt, Melliar-Smith, Shostak and Weinstock pioneered the notion of Software-Implemented Fault Tolerance in their famous paper SIFT: The Design and Analysis of a Fault-Tolerant Computer for Aircraft Control. The SIFT system made breakthroughs in fundamental theory and algorithms for achieving reliable distributed system operation in the presence of Byzantine failure modes, specifically focusing on the key problems of clock synchronization and consensus. The team developed and demonstrated the first software-based implementation of a fault-tolerant computer using these algorithms, and were among the first to create extensive analytical proofs of correctness of their algorithms. The impact of this work goes far beyond this implementation in that its groundbreaking conceptual framework spawned an entire new area of distributed systems theory and underlies many existing fault-tolerant computer designs.

Kopetz and Bauer's paper on the Time Triggered Architecture described a design pattern for dependable real-time computing that has had an outstanding impact on industry. Research prototypes developed at the Vienna University of Technology were refined into commercial products by a spin-off company that now supplies hardware and software products to major actors in the aerospace, automotive, railway, robotics and electrical energy industries. Indeed, time-triggered systems are the most commonly-used fault-tolerance approach in current critical real-time system architectures. Instantiations of the approach are notably deployed in the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 787.

The authors of these seminal papers will receive their award on June 24, 2014 at IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks (DSN) in Atlanta.

About Jean-Claude Laprie

Jean-Claude LaprieDr. Jean-Claude Laprie was Directeur de Recherche at LAAS-CNRS, Toulouse, France. He devoted his entire career to research on the dependability of computing systems. His unique capability of abstraction and formalization, and his contributions to the formulation of the concepts and methodologies of dependability, rapidly led to national and international recognition. He received the IFIP Silver Core in 1992, the Silver Medal of French Scientific Research in 1993, and the Grand Prize in Informatics of the French Academy of Science in 2009. He was made Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Mérite in 2002.

About IFIP WG 10.4 on Dependable Computing and Fault Tolerance

IFIP Working Group 10.4 was established in 1980 with the aim of identifying and integrating approaches, methods and techniques for specifying, designing, building, assessing, validating, operating and maintaining dependable computer systems, that is those that are reliable, available, safe, and secure. Its 75 members from around the world meet twice a year to to conduct in-depth discussions of important technical topics to further the understanding and exposition of the fundamental concepts of dependable computing.

For more information on IFIP WG10.4 visit http://www.dependability.org/wg10.4/

About the International Federation For Information Processing

IFIP is a non-governmental, non-profit umbrella organization for national societies working in the field of information processing. It was established in 1960 under the auspices of UNESCO as a result of the first World Computer Congress held in Paris in 1959. It is the leading multinational, apolitical organization in Information & Communications Technologies and Sciences.

For more information on IFIP visit http://www.ifip.org

Media Contact:

Charles B. Weinstock