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NITRD HCSS-AS: Previous Meetings

National Workshop on Aviation Software Systems: Design for Certifiably Dependable Systems
A Workshop on Research Directions and State of Practice of High Confidence Software Systems
October 4-5, 2006, Alexandria, VA

Related meetings and activities

The Networking and Information Technology Research & Development (NITRD) Coordinating Group on High Confidence Software Systems has also been involved in the organization of these related workshops:


Planning meeting and motivation

Software related issues are the “Achilles Heel” of modern aviation system development. Traditional embedded software development is characterized by low level programming, ad hoc approaches, stand-alone and static implementations, custom systems, little code re-use. This results in prolonged design schedules, excessive cost, limits in functionality, and difficulty in maintenance, upgrades, and retrofits. In such systems, verification and validation is labor intensive and expensive. These issues are exacerbated for critical systems where high integrity requirements yield certification challenges and barriers.

It is also important to note that current processes are inefficient and inadequate for future needs. Looking ahead, increased functionality in aerospace systems will lead to added complexity. There is a move towards networked, interconnected systems, and a need for distributed computation models. These new designs will feature reconfigurability, adaptability, and dynamic modifications. Mixed initiative systems will be featured: it is not understood how to incorporate the human element into modeling, verification and validation. Code correctness and safety concerns will be paramount, as will security issues.
Thus, new approaches, understanding and breakthroughs are required. Success would be a significant economic and opportunity stimulant: these issues recognized by many organizations but real progress has been slow.

To plan for the HCSS-AS workshop, a one and a half day HCSS-AS Planning meeting was held on November 9-10, 2005 in Seattle WA, at the University of Washington campus. The planning meeting was sponsored by the NITRD Program Federal agencies that participate in the HCSS Coordination Group (CG) and the National Coordination Office (NCO), and funding was provided by Stanford University.

The planning meeting identified several research themes to be further explored during the HCSSAS Workshop. The objective of the HCSS-AS workshop is to build on the work accomplished at the planning meeting by further analyzing the challenges and approaches that that can help address the findings resulting from this meeting. Our goal is to have a complete mix of the relevant stakeholders (including researchers, developers, certifiers) who can help identify emerging systems and assurance needs.

Planning Meeting
November 9-10, 2005
University of Washington, Seattle

35 participants from Industry, DoD, Govt, and Academia


  • Identify the key issue areas which will form the basis for the larger workshop
  • Identify key participants for the final workshop
  • Define the current state of the art in software for critical aviation systems
  • Lay out potential research programs
Wednesday, November 9  
8:30 a.m. Refreshments
8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Welcome, Introductions, Program Overview (Hansman, Tomlin, Co-Chairs)
- Planning Workshop in the NITRD Context (Sally Howe, NCO/NITRD)
- Purpose and Goals in Perspective (Helen Gill, NSF and NITRD HCSS CG Co-Chair)
9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Session 1: Issues in Aviation Software in Government and Industry I
- Paul Miner (NASA)
- Hal Pierson (FAA)
- Ray Richards (Rockwell Collins)
- Darren Cofer (Honeywell)
Scribe: George Pappas (UPenn)
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Discussion
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Session 2: Issues in Aviation Software in Government and Industry II
- Ray Bortner (AFRL)
- Jim Buffington (Lockheed Martin)
- David Corman (Boeing)
- Peter Skaves (FAA)
Scribe: Bruce Krogh (CMU)
3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Session 3: DO178
- Jim Krodel (Pratt & Whitney)
Scribe: John Rushby (SRI)
4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Session 4: Potential Approaches to Software Design for Aviation Systems I
- Eric Feron (Georgia Tech/MIT)
- John Rushby (SRI)
- Jim Alves-Foss (U of Idaho)
Scribe: David Corman (Boeing)

Thursday, November 10

8:30 a.m.


8:45 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Session 5: Software for Critical Systems: Perspectives from Medicine
- George Pappas (UPenn)
Scribe: Darren Cofer (Honeywell)

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Session 6: Potential Approaches to Software Design for Aviation Systems II
- Gabor Karsai (VU-ISIS)
- Bruce Krogh (CMU)
Scribe: Darren Cofer (Honeywell)

10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.


10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Program Planning for National Workshop



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