Dependable Computing Systems

ECE/CS 4434/6434
Fall 2023


Computing systems are used in various critical domains including aerospace, energy, transportation, healthcare, and commerce. Failures of these systems may lead to catastrophic consequences such as injury, loss of life, damage to equipment, or financial loss.
This course focuses on techniques for designing and analyzing dependable computing systems that can continue to operate correctly in the presence of software and hardware problems. We will learn what can go wrong, how we can predict, prevent, and detect faults/errors, and how we can design systems that can tolerate faults and recover from failures.


Time: Mon/Wed 2:00 - 3:15pm
Location: Rice Hall 340

Instructor: Homa Alemzadeh, - Office: 259 Olsson Hall (Link Lab)
Teaching Assistants: Xugui Zhou and Zongyu Li

Instructor Office Hours: Mon/Wed 3:30 - 4:00pm or by appointment
TA Office Hours: Thr 3:30-4:30pm or by appointment

UVA Canvas Site (For lecture notes, homework submission, grading)
Piazza (For questions, discussions, and polls)

Pre-requisites: This course is intended for graduate and senior-level undergraduate students. A basic knowledge of probability and computer architecture is required. A working knowledge of programming is required for homework and final project.


UG: 5% - GRAD: 5%
Class Participation/Activity5%
-- Short presentations on real-world reliability/safety/security incidents/issues
-- Paper PresentationsUG: 0% - GRAD: 10%
HomeworkUG: 25% - GRAD: 15%
Final Project30%
Midterm Exam15%
Final Exam (Take Home)20%
There will be a 10% penalty for late homework (per school day). You will also have a grace period of three days for the whole course to address any unexpected events such as sickness, traveling, other deadlines, interviews, etc. This means that you can always submit late assignments (except the presentation slides and the final exam), but if you don't use more than three late days, you will not be penalized in any way. The late penalties and the grace period will be accounted at the end of the semester. Also, your lowest grades for homework and class activity will be dropped.