Systems failures do not occur in a vacuum; while a single event may trigger the failure, investigation often reveals that a history of managerial and technical decisions produce conditions turning a single event into a disaster. At the minimum, investigating case studies provides lessons on what to avoid. By systematic studies of failure, it may be possible to draw general conclusions and improve practice as a whole. Unfortunately, good systems failure studies are rare. Embedded systems failure is a volatile topic and the field is filled with a vast amount of noise, urban myth, and political agendas.
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