We are building systems todayand using computers to control themthat have the potential for large-scale destruction of life and environment. More than ever, software engineers and system developers, as well as their managers, must understand the issues and develop the skills needed to anticipate and prevent accidents before they occur. Professionals should not require a catastrophe to happen before taking action.
Addressing this need in her long-awaited book, Nancy Levenson examines what is currently known about building safe electromagnetic systems and looks at past accidents to see what practical lessons can be applied to new computer-controlled systems.
Leveson (computer science and engineering, U. of Washington) summarizes what is known about the safety of electromechanical systems, particularly those operated or monitored by computer. Emphasizing the importance of integrating software safety efforts with system safety engineering, she presents the elements of a program that includes management, hazard and requirements analysis, design for safety, design of the human-machine, interface, and verification. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)