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Grant to Improve Monitoring of Computers Should Increase Reliability


University of Illinois at Chicago professor Prasid Sistla has received a three-year, $485,000 grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop techniques for monitoring software in order to prevent it from crashing. Sistla plans to develop aggressive monitoring models that watch a computer's work in order to spot hidden problems without interrupting or bogging it down. He hopes that his techniques, which combine active and passive monitoring, will be more accurate and flexible than those that are used now.

"We're modeling the underlying system probabilistically, and then we're developing various accuracy measures," Sistla says. "These are metrics not previously thought of."

The NSF grant will help Sistla further his research into improving the reliability of distributed and concurrent computer systems. His work is crucial because future machines will rely on several computer systems, making system failures more dangerous and trickier to untangle. "[I]n critical applications, such as driving or flying, you don't want to make assumptions," Sistla says. "You want to make sure things are monitored and detected for any erroneous behavior."

From University of Illinois at Chicago
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