DC SIGAda
Program for Thursday, 10 October 2002


Our Next Meeting is scheduled for
Thursday, 10 October 2002
Chuck Howell of The MITRE Corporation will be speaking on
Structured Argumentation Support for Information Assurance

The presentation will be held at the New MITRE2 Building in McLean, Virginia

This will be a joint meeting between the DC and Baltimore SIGAda Chapters


Attention:

To Members and Friends of DC SIGAda

Next Meeting:

Thursday, 10 October 2002, 7:30 P.M. (Refreshments and Social at 7:00 P.M.) at the new MITRE2 Building in McLean, Virginia. DC SIGAda and Baltimore SIGAda will feature the following presentation:

Title:

Structured Argumentation Support for Information Assurance

Abstract:

Software is increasingly used in systems, which may (should the software malfunction) threaten life, health, national security, the environment, or the economy. Often, when software-intensive safety-critical or security-critical systems are specified, there are associated regulations, standards of practice, or acquisition guidelines that explicitly call for the development and maintenance of some sort of "assurance argument". The assurance argument lays out the evidence for accepting the system as adequate with respect to specific risks.

We use the phrase "assurance argument" broadly; in some contexts it may be called a safety argument, a certification case, an assurance case, or something similar. Examples of domains where an assurance argument may be required include:

It is essential that the framework for developing and assessing assurance arguments be effective, since it is the basis for making critical decisions about software systems where the consequences of failure may be substantial. But it is equally important for the framework to be efficient - that is, to require resources appropriate to the size and nature of the software being assessed. Otherwise, when software is developed in safety-critical or security-critical contexts, the costs and constraints of making the assurance argument can overwhelm those for the software development itself. A framework for assurance arguments includes a description of what assurance is required for the system, how the case will be made that the required confidence is justified, what evidence is to be gathered, and how the evidence will be combined and evaluated. Some such frameworks exist and are being used. However, it is our observation that, in general, frameworks for assurance arguments could be much improved.

This talk will describe the rationale and current issues for various kinds of assurance arguments, and then describe some research MITRE is pursuing related to assurance arguments.

Presenter:

Chuck Howell is consulting engineer for software assurance in the Center for Innovative Computing and Informatics at the MITRE Corporation. The Center focuses on exploring, evaluating, and applying advanced information technologies in critical systems for a wide range of organizations. He is the coauthor of Solid Software (Prentice Hall, 2001). His current interests include techniques to calibrate and reduce residual doubt about the behavior of critical systems, and approaches to making large Networked Information Systems more robust (i.e., less fragile). He is the chair of a DARPA Panel developing a research agenda for Building Trustworthy Systems, and the Principal Investigator for a MITRE research project on High Confidence Software. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE and a member of the ACM.

Chuck Howell
Consulting Engineer
The MITRE Corporation
Mailstop W643
7515 Colshire Drive
McLean, Virginia 22102-7508

Phone: +1 (703) 883-7615
Email: howell@mitre.org

Venue/Directions

MITRE2
Room 1N100 A/B
The MITRE Corporation
7515 Colshire Drive
McLean, Virginia 22102-7508

Directions:

MITRE2 is on Colshire Drive just inside the beltway south of Route 123. Colshire Road is known as "Scotts Xing" on the North side of Route 123.

Colshire Road is located on Route 123, East of I-495 and West of the Dulles Access Highway.

Once on Colshire Road, MITRE2 is the building immediately in front of you. A tiny traffic circle is designed to take you to the front of MITRE2 and to MITRE1 (the Hayes Building). The directions below route you to the parking garage behind the MITRE2 Building. This is a logical left-hand turn at the traffic circle. After the turn, MITRE2 will be on your right.

From I-495 south of Route 123 (Dolley Madison Boulevard):

1. Take Exit 46B (McLean, Route 123);
2. Go North onto Route 123;
3. Turn right onto Colshire Drive (at second light);
4. Take third right off of the small traffic circle;
   (a logical left hand turn);
5. Proceed ~ 50 meters; Turn right into parking garage.
6. Visitor Parking is located on Levels 2 and 3
   (the walkway to the lobby is on Parking Level 2)
7. If door is locked, contact Security using phone by door
   (at entrance to MITRE2 from the Parking Garage)
8. Check in with Security at Security desk in lobby
   (You will need a photo ID)

From Dulles Access Toll Road or I-495 north of the Dulles Access Toll Road:

1. Take the Dulles Airport Access and Toll Road to Exit 19;
   (From I-495, this is labeled "To East I-66");
2. Take Exit 19A;
   (following signs to Route 123 South, Tysons Corner);
3. Bear right onto Route 123 (towards Tysons Corner)
4. Turn left onto Colshire Drive (at first light);
5. Take third right off of the small traffic circle;
   (a logical left hand turn);
6. Proceed ~ 50 meters; Turn right into parking garage.
7. Visitor Parking is located on Levels 2 and 3
   (the walkway to the lobby is on Parking Level 2)
8. If door is locked, contact Security using phone by door
   (at entrance to MITRE2 from the Parking Garage)
9. Check in with Security at Security desk in lobby
   (You will need a photo ID)

To obtain a map of MITRE2 Building and the MITRE Campus, visit =>
http://www.acm.org/sigada/locals/dc/Directions_MITRE2.html.

Please Put on Your Calendar

The next two meetings are:

DC SIGAda Home Page and Maillist

Please visit the DC SIGAda Web site at http://www.acm.org/sigada/locals/dc/ for additional information.

Please provide suggestions on the Web site and its contents. We are particularly interested in ways the DC SIGAda Home Page can serve you better.

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LISTSERV@ACM.Org

with the body containing:

subscribe SIGAda-DC Your Name

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with the body containing:

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Business:

We will have light foods and refreshment at 7:00. The meeting begins at 7:30 pm.

Many thanks to all earlier participants, contributors, speakers, advisors, and friends, who are involved in helping to produce and attend the meetings.

Please forward this message to people who might be interested in attending. We welcome all new members as our attendance and interests grow.

Consider registering for inclusion on our e-mail list. Registration instructions are provided on the DC SIGAda Web site.

Jeff Castellow, Chair, DC SIGAda


updated 7 October 2002