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Introduction to Faults in Software Engineering

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  • Last Updated : 02 Dec, 2020

Fault :
It is an incorrect step in any process and data definition in computer program which is responsible of the unintended behavior of any program in the computer. Faults or bugs in a hardware or software may cause errors. An error can be defined as a part of the system which will lead to the failure of the system. Basically an error in a program is an indication that failure occurs or has tp occurred.

If there are multiple components of the system, errors in that system will lead to component failure. As there are many component in the system that interact with each other, failure of one component might be responsible to introduce one or more faults in the system. Following cycle show the behavior of the fault.

Figure: Fault Behavior

Types of fault :
In software products, different types of fault can be occurred. In order to remove the fault, we have to know what type of fault which is facing by our program. So the following are the types of faults :

Figure: Types of Faults

  1. Algorithm Fault :
    This type of fault occurs when the component algorithm or logic does not provide the proper result for the given input due to wrong processing steps. It can be easily removed by reading the program i.e. disk checking.
  2. Computational Fault :
    This type of fault occur when a fault disk implementation is wrong or not capable of calculating the desired result e.g. combining integer and floating point variables may produce unexpected result.
  3. Syntax Fault :
    This type of fault occur due the use of wrong syntax in the program. We have to use the proper syntax for the programming language which we are using.
  4. Documentation Fault :
    The documentation in the program tells what the program actually does. Thus it can occur when program does not match with the documentation.
  5. Overload Fault :
    For memory purpose we used data structures like array, queue and stack etc. in our programs. When they are filled with their given capacity and we are using them beyond their capacity, then overload fault occurs in our program.
  6. Timing Fault :
    When the system is not responding after the failure occurs in the program then this type of fault is referred as the timing fault.
  7. Hardware Fault :
    This type of failure occur when the specified hardware for the given software does not work properly. Basically, it is due to the problem in the continuation of the hardware that is not specified in the specification.
  8. Software Fault :
    It can occur when the specified software is not properly working or not supporting the platform used or we can say operating system.
  9. Omission Fault :
    It ca occur when the key aspect is missing in the program e.g. when the initialization of a variable is not done in the program.
  10. Commission Fault :
    It can occur when the statement of expression is wrong i.e. integer is initialized with float.

Fault Avoidance :
Fault in the program can be avoid by using techniques and procedures which aims to avoid the introduction of the fault during any phase of the safety lifecycle of the safety related system.

Fault Tolerance :
It is ability of the functional unit to continue to perform a required function even in the presence of the fault.

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