Case studies and examples

Ian Sommerville 2006
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Case studies and examples help you understand real systems and illustrate some of the practical difficulties of software engineering.

In each of the following case studies, I provide a short description of the system, what aspects of software engineering that it can be used to illustrate and a set of links to more specific information about the system.

Portable insulin pump. This is an example case study that I developed for my textbook on software engineering. I have included a requirements document, a formal specification in Z and an example implementation in Java developed by a student at Lancaster University.
Internet worm. An early example of a security failure where a large number of Internet servers were infected at a relatively early stage in the development of the Internet.
Ariane 5 launcher explosion. The Ariane 5 rocket failed on its maiden flight due to software problems. The inertial navigation system software failed and the rocket became unstable and had to be destroyed.
Airbus 340 flight control system. The Airbus flight control system was the first example of a fly by wire system for civil aircraft. This study discusses the structure of the system and how diversity and fault tolerance is provided.
London Ambulance Despatching System. This despatching system for emergency vehicles failed dramatically immediately after it went live. The case study explores the various socio-technical reasons why this happened.