NASA Independent Verification and Validation Facility

  Institute Name: NASA IV&V Facility

Description: In October 1991, the NASA Software Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) Facility was established in West Virginia, to ensure that cost effectiveness and safety continue to be top priorities in current and future NASA programs. The Software IV&V Facility is a part of the Center of Excellence for Information Technologies (COE-IT) at Ames Research Center in California. The facility houses Independent Software V&V projects on a number of NASA programs, including the International Space Station, The Earth Observation Data and Information System, Space Shuttle flight software and launch processing systems, and a number of space science programs. Consolidating software IV&V activities into a single organization enhances the commitment to reducing costs while providing an independent analyses of mission software to improve safety.

To achieve its mission, the IV&V Facility places emphasis on the application, research, and technology transfer of promising new software technologies and improved software processes in each of its services: software IV&V, software assessments, and the OSMA Software Program management. The IV&V Facility identifies, investigates, and develops new or improved software tools, techniques, and methodologies that can be applied within NASA, other Government agencies, and industry.

A key element of the Facility is the research program, conducted in partnership with West Virginia University. The NASA/WVU Software Research Laboratory (SRL) was established in 1994 through a cooperative agreement between the NASA Office of Safety and Mission Assurance (OSMA) and West Virginia University. It conducts applied research into advanced software analysis technologies, through tool development, case studies and pilot projects. Current focuses of the research include: requirements analysis, formal methods, specification-based testing, software process measurement, software reuse, rapid prototyping and V&V of knowledge-based and soft-computing systems.

Researchers associated with the project:

Dr Steve Easterbrook, Dr Jack Callahan, Dr Louis Blazy, Dr Virginie Wiels

Brief CVs of Key Researchers:

Name: Steve Easterbrook

Nationality: British


Home page:

Academic Qualifications & Experience:

Steve Easterbrook is a senior research associate and at the NASA Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) facility in Fairmont, West Virginia, and serves a co-Principal Investigator of the NASA/WVU Software Research Lab. He received a PhD in software engineering in 1991 from Imperial College, London. From 1990 to 1995, he was a lecturer in computer science and artificial intelligence in the School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences at the University of Sussex, where he taught graduate and undergraduate courses in Artificial Intelligence, Software Design, Software Engineering, and Systems Analysis, and developed a new masters programme in Human Centered Computer Systems. His research interests include the management of inconsistency in requirements specifications, and the use of formal methods for requirements modelling and validation.

Name: Jack Callahan

Nationality: US


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Academic Qualifications & Experience:

John R. Callahan is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science in the Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1993 and is currently working on research in verification and validation of computer software. He has worked for Xerox Corporation of Palo Alto, CA, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, and the Department of Defense's Air Force Data Services Center at the Pentagon. Dr. Callahan currently serves as the Principal Investigator of the NASA/WVU Cooperative Research Project at the NASA Software IV&V Facility in Fairmont, West Virginia.

Name: Louis Blazy

Nationality: US


Academic Qualifications & Experience:

Louis Blazy is the Director of the NASA IV&V Facility in Fairmont West Virginia. He received his PhD from University of Maryland in 1985, in quantitative methods and human factors engineering. He has worked for the US Army as a research engineering, building decision support systems for C3I applications, and for the CIA as Division Chief, Program Manager and Chief Scientist, where he was responsible for over 20 automated systems for a variety of customer applications, and for the development of an innovative software metrics model for evaluating the efficacy of different lifecycle models. From 1993 to 1998 he served as director of Performance Engineering and Analysis at the US Department of Agriculture, where he pioneered techniques for base-lining and quantifying software engineering process effectiveness. He also serves as an adjunct professor at University of Maryland, University College, where he teaches graduate level courses in systems analysis, system and software requirements analysis, specification techniques, and a variety of software engineering topics.

Name: Virginie Wiels

Nationality: French


Home page:

Academic Qualifications & Experience:

Virginie Wiels received a DEA (French MSc) from the University of Toulouse (UPS) and an engineering degree from ENSEEIHT. She is completed her PhD, entitled "Modularity for formal conception and validation of systems" at ONERA-CERT/DERI in 1997. She is currently working as a post-doctoral research associate at the NASA/WVU Software Research Lab. Her research interests are formal methods (specification, verification and validation) and compositionality.

Selected Publications:

S. Easterbrook and B. Nuseibeh, "Using ViewPoints for Inconsistency Management," Software Engineering Journal, vol. 11, (1), 1996.

S. M. Easterbrook, "Learning from Inconsistency," Eighth International Workshop on Software Specification and Design (IWSSD-8), Paderborn, Germany, Mar. 22-23, 1996.

A. Al-Rawas and S. Easterbrook, "A Field Study into the Communications Problems in Requirements Engineering," Conference on Professional Awareness in Software Engineering (PACE-96), London, UK, Feb 1996. (Technical Report #NASA-IVV-96-002)

S. M. Easterbrook and J. Callahan, "Formal Methods for V&V of partial specifications: An experience report," Third IEEE International Symposium on Requirements Engineering (RE'97), Annapolis, MD., Jan 5-8, 1997.

F. Schneider, S. M. Easterbrook, J. R. Callahan and G. J. Holzmann, "Validating Requirements for Fault Tolerant Systems using Model Checking," Third IEEE Conference on Requirements Engineering, Colorado Springs, CO, April 6 - 10, 1998.

S. Easterbrook, R. Lutz, R. Covington, J. Kelly, Y. Ampo and D. Hamilton, "Experiences Using Lightweight Formal Methods for Requirements Modeling," IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, Special Issue on Formal Methods in Software Practice, vol. 24, (1), 1998.

S. Easterbrook, J. Callahan and V. Wiels, "V&V through Inconsistency Tracking and Analysis," Internatinal Workshop on Software Specification and Design, Kyoto, Japan, April 16-18, 1998.

Contact Details:

Principal Investigator: Dr Steve Easterbrook

Address: 100 University Drive, Fairmont, West Virginia, 26554, USA

Telephone number: +1 304 367 8352

Telefax number: +1 304 367 8211



List of Members

Last up-date: 30 July 1998