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Computer Science - Information Systems and Applications | Responsibility and Dependable Systems

Responsibility and Dependable Systems

Dewsbury, Guy, Dobson, John (Eds.)

2007, XV, 229 p.

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  • A ground-breaking work that examines both organizational responsibility and dependability in computer systems
  • Goes further to explore the social and technical aspects of dependability and responsibility

It is a truism that ‘human error’ is a common reason for failure in complex systems. These ‘errors’ sometimes lead to system failures because designers have failed to consider the normal human tendency to make mistakes. In other cases, ‘errors’ arise because of misunderstandings of who is responsible for what and how these responsibilities are to be discharged. Responsibility failures lead directly to actions that result in system failure.

Responsibility and Dependable Systems is the first book to examine the relationship between responsibility and system dependability. Both editors have backgrounds in computing and social science giving them a unique insight into how responsibility influences system dependability in different environments.

Divided into three parts, the first considers the philosophical and social aspects of responsibility, revisiting socially oriented system failures from a social, ethnographic perspective to tease out the complexities of the responsibilities that were implicated in the failure. Part Two uses a series of simple modelling notations to consider responsibility from a process and role-oriented perspective, using ideas from computer science, social science, management theory and engineering. The final section introduces new methods for analysing responsibility and mapping responsibilities within an organisation. The methods are illustrated by annotated models that can be adapted for use in both analysing and preventing failures of responsibility.

Systems engineers, computer scientists, social scientists, ergonomists and management researchers will all benefit from reading the book, and professionals and practitioners making organisational decisions concerning dependable human-computer systems, will also find it of value.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » computer - modeling - modelling - organization - time

Related subjects » Database Management & Information Retrieval - Hardware - Information Systems and Applications

Table of contents 

Introduction: Dependability and Responsibility in Context.- Introduction: Dependability and Responsibility in Context.- Philosophical and Social Aspects.- Responsibility: A Philosophical Perspective.- Responsibility in Practice.- Complex Organisational Responsibilities: The Ladbroke Grove Rail Inquiry.- Modelling.- Responsibility Modelling: Basic Concepts.- Models for Understanding Responsibilities.- Understanding Failure: The London Ambulance Service Disaster.- New Methods.- Models for Responsibility Assignment.- Causal Responsibility Models.- Modelling in Practice.

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