Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Information Technology

Fault Tolerant Computer Systems (ENGT4422)

Lecturer: A/Prof Thomas Bräunl
Fax: 6488-1168

Semester 2 - 6 points


Students are able to understand and apply concepts of computer system design in both hardware and software including fault-tolerance for highly reliable information systems as well as hybrid and parallel system designs. Students are able to understand the key concepts and developments in modern computer system solutions and be able to apply these concepts to practical problems. Students enhance their knowledge in this area by preparing a talk and a report on contemporary developments.


The following topics are covered in this unit: application-specific computer system design, advanced embedded systems, sensor-actuator systems, intelligent systems, industrial applications, reliable systems/fault-tolerant systems, real-time requirements, watch-dogs, redundancy in hardware, information, time, and software, triple modular redundancy, dependability analysis, reliable software design, effective testing and debugging of hardware and software, test suites, system programming in C and C++.


A systems-based outcome and the ability to work in an engineering team sharing tasks is assessed via a number of group laboratory reports and project demonstrations. Each studentís individual skills are assessed via a presentation and a written report on a contemporary engineering project.


1. To understand the importance of fault tolerant systems
2. To learn about several approaches to achieve fault-tolerance
3. To be able to apply fault-tolerant techniques in different application scenarios
4. To be able to determine the fault-tolerance of a specified system

Contact Hours

Semester 2
 Type  Hours  Start  Note
 Lectures  26 hrs  week 1
 Tutorials  12 hrs  week 2
 Labs  30 hrs  week 3  10 labs

For days, time and venues, see: www.timetable.uwa.edu.au

Unit Co-ordinator: Associate Professor Thomas Bräunl

Tutor: Adrian Boeing

Lab Supervisor: James Ng

Recommended Reading

T. Bräunl: Embedded Robotics, Springer, 2003
B. Broekman, E. Notenboom: Testing Embedded Software, Addison-Wesley, 2003
P. Jalote: Fault Tolerance in Distributed Systems, Prentice Hall, 1994
D. Pradhan: Fault-tolerant Computer System Design, Prentice Hall, 1996
S. Levi, A. Agrawala: Fault Tolerant System Design, McGraw-Hill, 1994
B. Johnson: Design and Analysis of Fault-Tolerant Digital Systems, Addison-Wesley, 1989

Course Notes:         see link

Tutorials:                 see link
Lab Assignments:    see link
Supplem. Materialsee link


Please note: there is no final exam
Type Final Mark % Semester Week
 Mid-Term  20%  week 9
 Labs (individual & groups)  50%  weeks 3-12
 Seminar Presentation  10%  weeks 10-13
 Written Report  20%  week 11

All work submitted must be the individual student's own work.


Labs and reports will receive a 20% penalty for each day late.

All work submitted must be the student's (or group's, resp.) own work.
Citations must be clearly marked as such.
See the faculty policy on plagiarism

See the faculty policy for scaling marks.

See the faculty policy for appeals.

Maintained by: Thomas Braunl
Last changed: 20. Apr. 2004
URL: http://robotics.ee.uwa.edu.au/courses/faulttolerant/
CRICOS Provider Code: 00126G