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Book Review

Table of Contents
Title: Performance and Reliability Analysis of Computer Systems: An Example-Based Approach Using the SHARPE Software Package (The Red Book)
Authors: Robin A. Sahner, Kishor S. Trivedi and Antonio Puliafito
Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1996.

ISBN number: 0-7923-9650-2

Description: This book provides a variety of probabilistic, discrete-state models used to assess the reliability and performance of computer and communication systems. The models included are combinatorical reliability models (reliability block diagras, fault trees and reliability graphs), directed, acyclic task precedence graphs, Markov and semi-Markov models (including Markov reward models), product-form queueing networks and generlized stochastic Petri nets. A practical appreach to system modeling is followed; and, by use of the SHARPE tool, all of the examples described are solved and analyzed.

In structureing the book, the authors have been careful to provide the reader with a methodological approach to analytical modeling techniques. These techniques are not seen as alternatives but rather as an integral part of a single process of assessment which, by hierarchically combining results from different kinds of models, makes it possible to use state-space methods for those parts of a system that require them and non-state-space methods for the more well-behaved parts of the system.

The SHARPE (Symbolic Hierarchical Automated Reliability and Performance Evaluator) package is the "toolchest" which allows the authors to specify stochastic modles easily and solve them quickly, adopting model hierarchies and very efficient solution techniques. All the models described in the book are specified and solved using the SHARPE language; its syntax is described and the source code of almost all the examples discussed is provided.

This book is suitable for use in advanced level courses covering reliability and performance of computer and communications systems and by researchers and practicing whose work involves modeling of system performance and reliability.

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