Independent On-Line Monitoring of Evolving Systems

Naftaly H. Minsky

Department of Computer Science
Rutgers University
New Brunswick, NJ 08903 USA

We argue that the trustworthiness of evolving software systems can be significantly enhanced by a rigorous process of independent on-line monitoring. Such monitoring can prevent fraud, encourage careful maintenance, and serve as an early detector of irregularities in the state and behavior of a system.

Unfortunately, there is a conflict between the concepts of on-line and independent monitoring. This conflict is due to the fact that on-line monitoring requires the embedding of some kinds of sensors in the base-system. But the introduction of such sensors requires a degree of cooperation with the developers of the base system, and may interfere with the operations of that system, contrary to the requirements of independent monitoring. We describe a way to resolve this conflict by applying the concept of law-governed architecture.