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ECE  535

Design of Fault-Tolerant  Systems



Course overview:

Dependability concerns are integral parts of engineering design. In the last decades, digital systems have been incorporated into commercial and military flight control systems, forcing the designers to find new ways to improve the dependability of these systems.  The term dependability encompasses the concepts of reliability, availability, safety, security, maintainability, testability, etc.  The goal of dependable systems in most applications is to prevent the electronics from being the weak point of the system.

The goal of dependable systems in most applications is to prevent the electronics from being the weak point of the system. Implementation of Fault Tolerance Designs through Redundancy is one way to avoid this possibility, improving the dependability parameters of the system.


Aim of the course:  

·        to get insight in the aspects contributing to the dependability of computer based systems

·        to assess and evaluate the dependability attributes of  computer based systems

·        to learn the basic techniques to make system fault tolerant by using redundancy:     hardware, information, time and software redundancy

·        case studies on the evaluations of Fault Tolerant Systems.



TEXTBOOK: Course notes  and

  •  E. Dubrova, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden, "Fault-Tolerant Design: An Introduction", provided by the instructor,

Recommended text books

  • B.W. Johnson, ‘Design and Analysis of Fault Tolerant Digital Systems’, Addison-Wesley, 1989 (out-of-print).

  • Israel Koren, C. Mani Krishna “Fault Tolerant Systems” Morgan Kaufmann, 2007

  • Siewiorek and R. Swarz, Reliable Computer Systems-Design and Evaluation, 2nd ed., Digital Press - Butterworth, 1998.

  • D.K. Pradhan, 'Fault-tolerant Computer System Design', Prentice Hall, 1996
  • M. L. Shooman “Reliability of Computer Systems and Networks: Fault Tolerance, Analysis and design”, John Wiley& Sons, Ltd., 2002
  • N. Storey” Safety Critical Computer Systems” Addison Wesley, 1996

PREREQUISITES:  ECE 333-Digital Systems or  CSSE 232-Computer Architecture I

 General policies

 Homework:   about 6 homeworks will be assigned.

 Laboratory:  Individual laboratories and projects.


 There will be 2 quarter exams.

Grading policy:

 Homework:                               15%

Labs and Prelabs:                     15%

Exams I:                                   25%

Exam II:                                  30%

Design Project                         15%

In-class participation:              3%

The cumulative score must be at a passing level (i.e>= 60%) in order to pass the course. All lab works,  design project and  homeworks must be submitted in order to pass the course.