Dear friends of SIGAda:

The DC SIGAda will have a presentation next Thursday, 10 October. Chuck
Howell from the MITRE Corporation will be speaking on "Structured
Argumentation Support for Information Assurance". I realize that most of
you are not local to the area, but if you are in town, you are very
welcome to attend. Also, should you know of anyone local to the DC area
who might be interested in attending, you might want to forward this
announcement to them. Thank you,

Currie Colket
Chair ACM SIGAda

Announcement follows:

    To Members and Friends of DC SIGAda

Next Meeting:

    Thursday, 10 October 2002, 7:30 P.M. (Refreshments and
    Social at 7:00 P.M.) at the new MITRE2 Building in McLean,
    Virginia. DC SIGAda and Baltimore SIGAda will feature the
    following presentation:


    Structured Argumentation Support for Information


    Software is increasingly used in systems, which may (should the
    software malfunction) threaten life, health, national security, the
    environment, or the economy. Often, when software-intensive
    safety-critical or security-critical systems are specified, there
    associated regulations, standards of practice, or acquisition
    guidelines that explicitly call for the development and
    maintenance of some sort of "assurance argument". The
    assurance argument lays out the evidence for accepting the
    system as adequate with respect to specific risks.

    We use the phrase "assurance argument" broadly; in some
    contexts it may be called a safety argument, a certification case,
    an assurance case, or something similar. Examples of domains
    where an assurance argument may be required include:

        U.S. DOD weapons systems (MIL-STD 882D and a
        safety case)
        Civilian avionics (DO-178B and a certification case)
        Security-critical systems (the Common Criteria and an
        assurance case)

    It is essential that the framework for developing and assessing
    assurance arguments be effective, since it is the basis for
    making critical decisions about software systems where the
    consequences of failure may be substantial. But it is equally
    important for the framework to be efficient - that is, to require
    resources appropriate to the size and nature of the software
    being assessed. Otherwise, when software is developed in
    safety-critical or security-critical contexts, the costs and
    constraints of making the assurance argument can overwhelm
    those for the software development itself. A framework for
    assurance arguments includes a description of what assurance is
    required for the system, how the case will be made that the
    required confidence is justified, what evidence is to be gathered,
    and how the evidence will be combined and evaluated. Some
    such frameworks exist and are being used. However, it is our
    observation that, in general, frameworks for assurance
    arguments could be much improved.

    This talk will describe the rationale and current issues for
    various kinds of assurance arguments, and then describe some
    research MITRE is pursuing related to assurance arguments.


    Chuck Howell is consulting engineer for software assurance in
    the Center for Innovative Computing and Informatics at the
    MITRE Corporation. The Center focuses on exploring,
    evaluating, and applying advanced information technologies in
    critical systems for a wide range of organizations. He is the
    coauthor of Solid Software (Prentice Hall, 2001). His current
    interests include techniques to calibrate and reduce residual
    doubt about the behavior of critical systems, and approaches to
    making large Networked Information Systems more robust (i.e.,
    less fragile). He is the chair of a DARPA Panel developing a
    research agenda for Building Trustworthy Systems, and the
    Principal Investigator for a MITRE research project on High
    Confidence Software. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE and
    a member of the ACM.

        Chuck Howell
        Consulting Engineer
        The MITRE Corporation
        Mailstop W643
        7515 Colshire Drive
        McLean, Virginia 22102-7508

        Phone: +1 (703) 883-7615
        Email: [log in to unmask]


    Room 1N100 A/B
    The MITRE Corporation
    7515 Colshire Drive
    McLean, Virginia 22102-7508


    MITRE2 is on Colshire Drive just inside the beltway south of
    Route 123. Colshire Road is known as "Scotts Xing" on the
    North side of Route 123.

    Colshire Road is located on Route 123, East of I-495 and West
    of the Dulles Access Highway.
        Going Northbound on 123 from I-495, Colshire Road is
        located 2 stoplights on the right.
        Going Southbound on 123 from the Dulles Access
        Highway, Colshire Road is located at the first stoplight on
        the left.
    Once on Colshire Road, MITRE2 is the building immediately in
    front of you. A tiny traffic circle is designed to take you to the
    front of MITRE2 and to MITRE1 (the Hayes Building). The
    directions below route you to the parking garage behind the
    MITRE2 Building. This is a logical left-hand turn at the traffic
    circle. After the turn, MITRE2 will be on your right.

    From I-495 south of Route 123 (Dolley Madison Boulevard):
        1. Take Exit 46B (McLean, Route 123);
        2. Go North onto Route 123;
        3. Turn right onto Colshire Drive (at second light);
        4. Take third right off of the small traffic circle;
           (a logical left hand turn);
        5. Proceed ~ 50 meters; Turn right into parking garage.
        6. Visitor Parking is located on Levels 2 and 3
           (the walkway to the lobby is on Parking Level 2)
        7. If door is locked, contact Security using phone by door
           (at entrance to MITRE2 from the Parking Garage)
        8. Check in with Security at Security desk in lobby
           (You will need a photo ID)

    From Dulles Access Toll Road or I-495 north of the Dulles
    Access Toll Road:
        1. Take the Dulles Airport Access and Toll Road to Exit
           (From I-495, this is labeled "To East I-66");
        2. Take Exit 19A;
           (following signs to Route 123 South, Tysons Corner);
        3. Bear right onto Route 123 (towards Tysons Corner)
        4. Turn left onto Colshire Drive (at first light);
        5. Take third right off of the small traffic circle;
           (a logical left hand turn);
        6. Proceed ~ 50 meters; Turn right into parking garage.
        7. Visitor Parking is located on Levels 2 and 3
           (the walkway to the lobby is on Parking Level 2)
        8. If door is locked, contact Security using phone by door
           (at entrance to MITRE2 from the Parking Garage)
        9. Check in with Security at Security desk in lobby
           (You will need a photo ID)

    To obtain a map of MITRE2 Building and the MITRE Campus,
    visit =>

Please Put on Your Calendar

    The next two meetings are:
        Tuesday, 14 November will be the next Baltimore SIGAda
        Thursday, 9 January 2003 will be the next DC SIGAda
        Chapter meeting.

DC SIGAda Home Page and Maillist

    Please visit the DC SIGAda Web site at for additional information.

    Please provide suggestions on the Web site and its contents. We
    are particularly interested in ways the DC SIGAda Home Page
    can serve you better.

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        subscribe SIGAda-DC Your Name

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    We will have light foods and refreshment at 7:00. The meeting
    begins at 7:30 pm.

    Many thanks to all earlier participants, contributors, speakers,
    advisors, and friends, who are involved in helping to produce
    and attend the meetings.

    Please forward this message to people who might be interested
    in attending. We welcome all new members as our attendance
    and interests grow.

    Consider registering for inclusion on our e-mail list. Registration
    instructions are provided on the DC SIGAda Web site.

Jeff Castellow, Chair, DC SIGAda