By Nikhilesh Krishnamurthy; Amitabh Saran
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Additional info for Building software : a practitioner's guide
A cool medium is one with low definition. Because of the lack of information, much must be filled in by users. Therefore, a cool medium generally requires a higher level of participation of users than a hot medium. When looking at the two different kinds of media, it can be interpreted that the hotter the medium, the less someone needs to interpret what is being presented to them; whereas the colder the medium, the more someone has to uncover and engage in the media. ” Note that cold is not necessarily bad.
It is very difficult to test these systems for failures because the failures in either case would have catastrophic impacts. Thus, these systems must be run through hypothetical failure scenarios and recovery mechanisms. Essential components in these systems include monitoring systems for the detection and reporting of failures, and emergency control functions that will make intelligent decisions by switching control to safe zones when faults are detected. In some cases this may even include human intervention.
Good managers choose sufficient variety to control what needs controlling, as per Ashby’s law. However, this is easier said than done, as we will see. Variety Is Relative Although it may appear simple, in theory, to determine the variety in any system, it is not so easy in practice. Various estimation approaches such as COCOMO, FPA, and ESTIMACS have been proposed and are used selectively by software managers. Ashby’s law, in a way, simplifies the model because the regulation of variety focuses on “relative” parameters of complexity rather than “absolute” ones.