A software library implements a new methodology of detecting faults in numerical subroutines, thus enabling application programs that contain the subroutines to recover transparently from single-event upsets. The software library in question is fault-detecting middleware that is wrapped around the numerical- subroutines. Conventional serial versions (based on LAPACK and FFTW) and a parallel version (based on ScaLAPACK) exist. The source code of the application program that contains the numerical subroutines is not modified, and the middleware is transparent to the user.

The methodology used is a type of algorithm-based fault tolerance (ABFT). In ABFT, a checksum is computed before a computation and compared with the checksum of the computational result; an error is declared if the difference between the checksums exceeds some threshold. Novel normalization methods are used in the checksum comparison to ensure correct fault detections independent of algorithm inputs. In tests of this software reported in the peer-reviewed literature, this library was shown to enable detection of 99.9 percent of significant faults while generating no false alarms.

This program was written by Michael Turmon, Robert Granat, and John Lou of Caltech for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

This software is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Karina Edmonds of the California Institute of Technology at (626) 395-2322. Refer to NPO-42193.

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the November, 2007 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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