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High Integrity Software 2017 Conference — October 17 — Bristol, UK

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The importance of data in developing safe software

Louise Harney

Systems Engineering Consultant, PA Consulting

All software relies on data, from the lines of code that ‘make stuff work’ to system adaptation parameters from real world sensors. As engineers we seek to build a system that provides ever-more complex functions, adding features to give our products the ‘edge’. Increasingly, these features are reliant on data. Data in software is assessed as an integral part of functionality design, but this does not cover everything. Data has properties which can be lost or modified, leading to a situation where data (not the software function) contributes to harm. Changes or errors in the data can cause software to behave in an unexpected way, defying the outcomes it was carefully designed to achieve. This presentation fills the gap by describing the Data Safety Guidance methodology for managing the risks associated with data, specifically in the software development lifecycle.

About Louise Harney

Louise Harney is a systems engineering consultant at PA Consulting. She works across the defence and security sector designing and delivering integrated information systems. Louise is a member of the Data Safety Initiative Working Group, which publishes the Data Safety Guidance and provides input to the development of standards across many industries including the Defence Standards, the NHS, and many others. She is working on the integration of data-focused assessments within the complete systems engineering development process.

Sponsored by

AdaCore Altran Jaguar Land Rover

Supported by

BAE Systems