sis of a number of commercial projects is contained in a paper in IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering.34 The importance and effectiveness of capturing environmental assumptions is explained with reference to an e-commerce system, a safety protection system, and a railway signaling system in a 2001 conference report.35

Evidence-based dependability cases and explicit claims are widely used in safety-critical software development but have also been shown to be cost-effective when building commercial applications.36 The common experience, from these reports and others, is that these technical recommendations are practical to adopt and effective in use by experts. As with all engineering, cost-effectiveness is a primary objective; making dependability claims explicit allows developers to ensure that they achieve the necessary dependability without overengineering.


S. King, J. Hammond, R. Chapman, and A. Pryor, 2000, “Is proof more cost-effective than testing?” IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering 26(8):675-686.


J. Hammond, R. Rawlings, and A. Hall, 2001, “Will it work?” Proceedings of the 5th IEEE International Symposium on Requirements Engineering, August.


Adrian Hilton, 2003, “Engineering Software Systems for Customer Acceptance.” Available online at <>.

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