Safe and Dependable Advanced Computer Systems

Today, our life depends on computer systems in innumerable aspects, ranging from children's games to national security. People's daily life cannot exist without computers in home, amusement facilities, transportation, communication networks, industrial activities, financial and insurance services, medical services, art and cultural activities, commercial activities, agricultural management, government administration, and so on. Furthermore, we tend to be unaware of this fact.

Under these circumstances, dependability of a computer is of the most importance. If a failure occured in computer systems which our advanced information society fully depends on, tremendous human lives could be lost, or an economic disaster could occur. There is even a possibility of a war.

This potential dangerousness seems to be becoming reality. You can occasionally find mass media reporting an accident that seems to be caused by a failure of computer systems, for example, commercial aircraft wandering from its route due to the failure of flight control computers, airport confused in controling takeoffs and landings due to the air-traffic control system being down, telephone service disrupted across a metropolis due to the failure of digital switching system, ATMs halted by the failure of banking online system, exchange of stocks stopped by the failure of payment system at securities market, ticketing stopped due to the seat reservation system being down, injury accident by runaway robots, and many others.

It is inevitable that, sooner or later, a fault would arise from components (either software or hardware) constructing a computer system. But, if the computer system as a whole did not break down and provided services properly, we could let our daily lives depend on computer systems without anxiety. This ability of a system to work properly despite the broken components is called "fault tolerance".

This research aims to actualize high-quality computer systems and networks which can be safely utilized as a basis of the advanced information society, for our healthy and comfortable life.

To be more precise, we are planning to produce a safe, dependable, energy-saving, and high-performance computer system, through establishing fault tolerance techniques coordinating various levels of a system from logical to physical level, building up a parallel distributed computer system based on asynchronous event-driven design, and developping a VLSI design methodology synthesizing software and hardware design.