A computer program implements a methodology, denoted probabilistic risk reduction, that is intended to aid in planning the development of complex software and/or hardware systems. This methodology integrates two complementary prior methodologies: (1) that of probabilistic risk assessment and (2) a risk-based planning methodology, implemented in a prior computer program known as Defect Detection and Prevention (DDP), in which multiple requirements and the beneficial effects of risk-mitigation actions are taken into account. The present methodology and the software are able to accommodate both process knowledge (notably of the efficacy of development practices) and product knowledge (notably of the logical structure of a system, the development of which one seeks to plan). Estimates of the costs and benefits of a planned development can be derived. Functional and non-functional aspects of software can be taken into account, and trades made among them. It becomes possible to optimize the planning process in the sense that it becomes possible to select the best suite of process steps and design choices to maximize the expectation of success while remaining within budget.

This program was written by Martin Feather, Steven Cornford, and Leila Meshkat of Caltech and James Kiper of Miami University for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

This software is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Don Hart of the California Institute of Technology at (818) 393- 3425. Refer to NPO-40226.