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International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS2006)

Estimating complex system robustness from dual system architectures

Chad Foster
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Daniel Frey
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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     Last modified: May 12, 2006

This paper investigates differences in robustness between hardware only and hardware-software products and proposes a general model for their robustness estimation. A dozen of these duality examples are presented from patents and elsewhere. Utilizing statistical reliability estimation models, and particularly lognormal distributions based on failure rates, comparisons are made between the system robustness with and without 'robust, yet fragile' complexity issues. Sufficiently complex systems exhibited this robustness effect and it is shown they are more likely software based systems. Utilizing these examples a general model is built and applied to automotive sub-systems where comparisons to reliability data required the inclusion of 'HOT' effects make accurate robustness predictions.

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