Department of Computer Science

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  1. Centre for Software Reliability
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Centre for Software Reliability

The Centre for Software Reliability (CSR) at City University London is an independent Research Centre in the School of Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering, founded in 1983 (originally named the School of Informatics). As our name suggests, our early research concerned the reliability of software - particularly the problems of measurement, assurance and prediction of reliability using probabilistic modelling - but this quickly expanded into a wider systems viewpoint, taking account of different threats to dependability.

At the time CSR was founded, many people questioned whether probabilistic measures of "reliability" were meaningful for software, "because software failures are systematic". One of our earliest achievements was to demonstrate that such measures were indeed applicable to software, and to show how they could be obtained for particular systems. This work involved the development of novel theories and techniques - very different from those that had been developed over previous decades for hardware reliability.

Building on this early work on software reliability, CSR's interests broadened in two ways. We now address the dependability of systems, taking account, for example, of safety and security as well as reliability. And our approach is now aimed at wider systems made up of software, hardware, people and organisations. Our current activities therefore mainly concern the assessment and assurance of the dependability of socio-technical systems.

Over the years, CSR has attracted millions of pounds of funding for its research in the form of research grants, contracts and consulting. This has come from industry, charities and government organisations in the UK, EU and US. About half of our research support has come from the UK's Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC). CSR collaborates widely with academic and industrial organisations in Europe and the US.