2009. VOL.64 NO.8

  Special Reports

Advanced Technologies for System Dependability through the Product Life Cycle

Life Cycle Management of Dependable Systems Based on Formal Methods

Advanced Technologies for Dependable Systems through Product Life Cycle by Managing Gaps
among Specifications, Implementation, and Environment

With the increasing scale, complexity, open and cooperative operability of products, the conventional quality assurance approach is insufficient to respond to the expanding gaps among their specifications, implementation, and environment. New approaches are therefore required to establish high dependability by monitoring, detecting, and modifying these gaps throughout the product life cycle.
Toshiba is developing advanced technologies baced on the life cycle quality assurance model for highly dependable products.

Health Monitoring Technology for Digital Equipment
HIROHATA Kenji / NAKAMURA Koji / SUDA Yukihiro
With digital equipment being used for many purposes recently, there is an increased risk of failure in the electronic circuit boards and various components of such equipment due to different usage environments and unanticipated forms of use. New technologies to achieve higher reliability are required both to avoid unexpected failures and to allow comfortable use of digital equipment.
To meet these requirements, Toshiba has developed a health monitoring technology featuring diagnostic monitoring and prognostic health management of digital equipment. We are continuing our efforts to expand the functions of this technology in order to realize high availability and serviceability, including reduction of downtime and effective maintenance, by utilizing the health monitoring data.

Proactive Quality Control and Service Utilizing Product Field Data
NISHIKAWA Takeichiro / HARA Kanzo
Even when a great deal of effort is made to ensure that products are sufficiently tested during the development phase, it is difficult to prevent problems occurring in the field after shipment.
Toshiba has developed analysis techniques for detection of problems at an early stage by utilizing service logs, as an example in the case of notebook PCs. Based on these techniques, we have developed the Toshiba PC Health Monitor, which is designed to monitor the functions running on a PC and alert users about potential problems by providing them with accurate prognostic information. In addition, we have launched a diagnosis and inspection service applying the Toshiba PC Health Monitor to proactively reduce users’ losses due to problems, based on the health monitoring data, and are also investigating possibilities for new services according to the usage conditions of individual PCs.

NetScopeTM Technology to Diagnose Wireless LAN Setup Problems for PC Users
ISE Kotaro / TAJIMA Takeshi / TANAKA Yasuyuki / KATSUBE Yasuhiro
With the widespread dissemination of PCs in recent years, many users without technical knowledge are enjoying network applications on PCs such as sending e-mail and Web browsing. However, it is difficult for them to set up a wireless LAN in their home, and various problems often occur.
Toshiba has developed a network diagnosis technology called NetScope. NetScope proposes potential causes of network problems to users based on inquiries from users received at a PC help desk, the setup status of the PC, and the status of protocols for Internet access. Users can correct the problems they encounter in accordance with advice from the PC help desk based on the proposed causes. Furthermore, the PC help desk can identify the causes of problems and solve them quickly utilizing the analyses of NetScope.

CForge Modular Verification Tool for C Programs Including Specifications of Data Structures
SAKAI Masahiro / IMAI Takeo / KATAOKA Yoshio
Toshiba has been engaged in a software reliability project based on the concept of "specification-leveraged dependability enhancement." The basic objective of this concept is to preserve consistency between a program and its specifications in the course of further modification or extension of the software.
We have developed CForge, a new modular verification tool that can verify consistency between C functions and their specifications. In addition, it is capable of comprehensive verification including data structures and pointers.

Model-Based Testing Method for Development of High-Quality Software with High Efficiency
OHTA Akinori / SHIN Hiromasa / WATANABE Tatsuaki
For the efficient development of high-quality software, both specification review based on a behavioral model and test design utilizing a model-based testing method are being introduced at the early stages of development. However, since it is difficult in practice to cover all test cases of complex software, a technology for the selection of test cases has become essential.
Toshiba has developed a model-based testing method incorporating our original technology for the flexible selection of test cases. This method makes it possible to realize state transition testing generated from a behavioral model that covers all equivalent classes corresponding to the typical behavior of software. We have applied this method to the test design of an automobile cruise control system and confirmed its effectiveness.

S.E.R. studio ESL Tool for Design of High-Quality Platforms for Electronic Devices
Unexpected failures of electronic devices at an early stage of operation have been increasing due to designers' insufficient understanding of the performance and characteristics of system large-scale integrations (LSIs) installed in these devices along with the acceleration of integration density and structural complexity.
To overcome these problems, InterDesign Technologies, Inc. has developed S.E.R. studio, an electronic system level (ESL) design tool that realizes a virtual design environment in the upstream design phase to effectively optimize the hardware and software architectures, design a high-quality platform, and visualize the design performance.

Improvement of Medical Processes Using Risk FMEA
TORII Kentaro / NISHIKAWA Takeichiro / HIRANO Kaho
In recent years, as the actual status of medical accidents caused by human error has become clearer both in Japan and abroad, there have been increasing calls for improvement of patient safety during the course of medical processes.
Toshiba and Toshiba Rinkan Hospital have developed a risk analysis method for medical processes that employs the failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) technique. This method called RFMEA (Risk FMEA) quantitatively evaluates the risk of rare serious accidents that could occur in each task of a medical process. In addition, we have developed an incident reporting system that enables medical personnel to identify high-risk tasks in medical processes in which high-risk incidents occur with higher frequency. Using RFMEA and the incident reporting system, Toshiba Rinkan Hospital is making ongoing efforts to improve medical processes for extra safety according to the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle.

Filtering Method for System Fault Notification
HASEGAWA Tetsuo / NAKAJIMA Nobuyasu / LEE Guanglin Samson
In the event of an operational failure in a large-scale system such as an electric power transmission system, the timely delivery of alarms concerning detected faults is essential for rapid restoration of the system. Furthermore, only the necessary information selected from a variety of alarms should be dispatched to the authorized personnel. It is not easy to distinguish the critically required information on the system failure, however, due to the limits of human monitoring capacity and the difficulty of transferring the appropriate know-how from experienced people.
With this as a background, Toshiba has developed a high-precision alarm system that can filter the information generated and distribute alarms based on the user's requirements without the need for a complex configuration. We have confirmed the successful performance of this system through simulations.

TMSTATIONTM Remote Maintenance Platform Evolving Diagnostic Technologies
OKITANI Noriyasu / NAGANO Kazutoshi / KISHIHARA Masaki
Continuous improvement and evolution of technologies for maintenance services are required as social infrastructures become increasingly complicated and sophisticated.
Toshiba Solutions Corporation has developed the TMSTATION remote maintenance platform. TMSTATION provides optimal maintenance services corresponding to the evolution of diagnostic technologies, by integrating a remote monitoring system developed in social infrastructure fields and an integrated maintenance database that can manage various maintenance data of facilities to accumulate and analyze related information. We are continuing our efforts to expand the functions of this system in order to realize maintenance services with high added value.

  Feature Articles

T380 RAID Controller for MAGNIATM Series of Dual-Processor Servers
OMORI Mikio / KAWAMURA Kazunari / FUJIMOTO Shingo
Toshiba has developed the T380 redundant array of inexpensive disks (RAID) controller based on RAID MasterTM, a collective name for our RAID technology that aims to achieve high performance, high reliability, high availability, and high maintainability and is implemented in the MAGNIA advanced technology attachment (ATA) RAID as well as in the T380.
The T380 RAID controller provides high performance and reliability with the introduction of a diagnostic program, which constantly inspects the status of the controller, and the latest dual-core input/output (I/O) processors. It also provides high availability by supporting both RAID 6, which can recover data from the loss of two hard disk drives (HDDs), and a preventive maintenance function to automatically copy data into a standby HDD in case the error occurs frequently. Information on abnormalities obtained by analysis of the controller is stored on flash memory as error information. Furthermore, the system is equipped with two types of battery―an external type and a built-in type―that can be easily exchanged, to improve maintainability.

Image Quality Enhancement Technology for Online Contents Utilizing SpursEngineTM
NAKAMURA Seiichi / KIKUCHI Yoshihiro / TANAKA Akira / KANEKO Toshimitsu
The wide dissemination of high-speed Internet access in recent years has led to the increasing popularity of content distribution systems that allow contents such as homemade videos to be easily distributed via the Internet. However, the image quality of such online contents distributed by these systems is often not as good as that of digital versatile disc (DVD) contents. Demand has therefore been increasing for the development of a technology to improve the image quality of these online contents to a level equivalent to that of standard definition (SD) video contents such as DVD contents.
To meet these requirements, Toshiba has developed a new real-time image quality enhancement technology that enables Internet users to watch online contents with high-quality images utilizing the advanced video processing performance of the SpursEngine stream processor.

New Distributed SCADA System for 500 kV Substations of The Tokyo Electric Power Company, Inc.
TSUJI Hisashi / NODA Taketoshi / MIURA Shogo
Twenty-seven 500 kV substations of The Tokyo Electric Power Company, Inc. (TEPCO) with different construction times, manufacturers, and installation configurations have been independently controlled and monitored by various supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems.
To meet the growing demand for reductions in the operating costs of electric power transmission and distribution, Toshiba and TEPCO have developed a new SCADA system for 500 kV substations. This system makes it possible to realize not only high reliability and cost reductions due to standardization of the software functions, database, and display, but also high security through the use of intranet middleware, protocols with high reliability, and security equipment. The new system has been put into commercial operation at successive sites since May 2008.

400/220 kV Sweihan Grid Station in UAE in Commercial Operation
KYOTO Taikichiro / OKUDA Minoru / MATSUMURA Akira
The Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (ADWEA) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been expanding the facilities of its 400 kV power system for improvement of system stability and reliability. As part of the project, the construction of a new 400 kV grid station and extension of a 220 kV grid station in Sweihan was planned to expand the existing 220 kV/33 kV grid station. This grid station, which connects the Abu Dhabi area and the area around its satellite city Al Ain with a 400 kV overhead transmission line and will also connect the Fujairah Grid Station in the future, fulfills an important role in the stable supply of electric power to these areas.
Toshiba was able to complete the project successfully despite difficulties including extension of the existing in-service 220 kV grid station and integration and diversion of several remote end substations, by taking advantage of our advanced technologies and experience in substation project management and engineering. The new 400 kV grid station was eventually energized and started commercial operation in March 2008. Commercial operation of the 220 kV system subsequently started in February 2009.

Precise Predictive Out-of-Step Prevention Relay System for Electric Power Systems
INUKAI Michihiko / INOUE Yasunori / YASUDA Tadaaki / NISHI Tetsuya
An out-of-step prevention relay system minimizes the impact of serious accidents in an electric power system by periodically predicting the out-of-step condition of generators and tripping the selected generators in an effective manner. As the electric power system of The Tokyo Electric Power Company, Inc. (TEPCO) in the Boso area has a complicated loop configuration with transmission lines of different voltages and includes large-capacity generators, difficulties were experienced in accurately predicting out-of-step conditions using the conventional algorithm applied to existing systems.
To overcome these problems, Toshiba and TEPCO have developed a precise predictive out-of-step prevention relay system that makes it possible to selectively parallel off generators, by applying a novel method based on multiple regression analysis utilizing parameters calculated from active power values sampled at various substations.

Information and Knowledge Utilization Solutions Using Paraphrasing Techniques
SAITO Yoshimi / KURATA Saori / KANO Toshiyuki
Information and knowledge utilization solutions manage a variety of business documents created and stored every day, not only to enhance the quality of documents but also to classify and arrange them with high accuracy. Searching and classification of documents have been conventionally processed in terms of the meaning of words. However, there is growing demand for more sophisticated technologies for semantic information that can support precise searching and classification of business documents according to the meanings of phrases.
In response to this situation, Toshiba Solutions Corporation has been engaged in the research and development of paraphrasing techniques that can generate and summarize various expressions representing the same meaning. We are now aiming to realize precise searching and classification of business documents according to the meanings of phrases by using paraphrasing techniques in addition to conventional technologies.

  Frontiers of  Research & Development

Video Indexing Technology for TV Sports Programs
Cross-Language Information Retrieval Technology Allowing Foreign-Language Information to be Gathered in Mother Tongue