Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


New programming language could create a safer world

Dr David
Pearce

MEDIA RELEASE

9 January 2013
____________________________________________________

New programming language could create a safer world

Research underway at Victoria University into a new programming language has the potential to prevent future software failures in safety-critical systems.

Infamous examples of software failures include the Therac-25 disaster, where a computer-operated radiation therapy machine gave patients lethal doses; and an enormous power outage in the United States in 2003, which led to around 45 million people being without electricity for up to two days.

In New Zealand, software glitches have caused a bank to mistakenly gift its customers unlimited overdraft access (TSB, 2012); a security system to open what should have been a closed supermarket (Mill St Pak ‘n Save in Hamilton, 2011); and broadband meters to incorrectly calculate usage (Telecom, 2011).

Dr David Pearce, from Victoria’s School of Engineering and Computer Science, has designed a programming language that uses automated mathematical and logical reasoning to check computer software decisions are correct.
“Currently, the most widely accepted way of eliminating software errors is through extensive testing. But as systems become increasingly complex this cannot always guarantee the absence of errors, because in large systems it simply isn’t feasible to test every possible input,” he says.

“Software is becoming more and more ubiquitous—it’s involved in all sorts of things we do in the modern world. As software engineers we need to find ways of making sure we eliminate as many errors as we possibly can.”

Dr Pearce has been developing the programming language, Whiley, since 2009 and in 2011 received a Marsden Fast-Start grant to further its progression.

Dr Pearce sees Whiley having applications for everyday software programs, as well as highly-specialised software for systems where people’s safety is paramount, such as modern cars, which now typically run on close to 100 million lines of computer code.

“Certain mistakes are common in computer programs, for example overflow errors, where a number is simply too large for the computer to handle,” he says.

“Whiley has the potential to ensure that scenarios like this can be avoided in the future, by testing the logic of the program in advance.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Maori Language Commission: Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori 2015

The theme for Māori Language Week 27 July – 2 August 2015 is ‘Whāngaihia te Reo ki ngā Mātua’ ‘Nurture the language in parents’. It aims to encourage and support every day Māori language use for parents and caregivers with children” says Acting Chief Executive Tuehu Harris.. More>>

ALSO:

Live Music: Earl Sweatshirt Plays To Sold Out Bodega

The hyped sell-out crowd had already packed themselves as close as they could get to the stage before Earl came on. The smell of weed, sweat and beer filled Bodega – more debauched sauna than bar by this point. When he arrived on stage the screaming ... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Māori Past And Present

In its heft, exceptional production values and omniscient tone, Tangata Whenua looms a bit like a Bentley in a downtown parking building – a distinguished and doomed reminder of a former literary age. More>>

Photos: Cosplay And Wrestling At Armageddon Wellington

Armageddon Expo wrapped on Sunday with wrestling and a cosplay (costume play) competition. The gathered nerds were in good spirits with the Westpac stadium turning into a liminal space of fantasy, sci-fi and anime. More>>

John McBeth: Israel Dagg Form Timely

The unfortunate injuries to Waisake Naholo and Cory Jane at the weekend emphasised the importance of Israel Dagg in this Rugby World Cup season. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Point Break - Lawyers Don’t Surf

Has there ever been a more ridiculous and brilliant name for an FBI agent in the movies than Johnny Utah and has there ever been a more appropriately beautiful, dim and earnest young man to play him than the Keanu Reeves of Point Break? More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Talent To Burn

America's Got Talent: The show was filmed in one of a collection of enormous empty hangars once used by Northrop Grumman to manufacture jets and spacecraft... the set itself was but a fragment of glossy illusion in an empty warehouse with rows of cheap seating, wads of gaffer tape, and cameras on bare concrete floors. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news