Traceability is the capacity to verify the history, location or status of an item by means of documented identification. Merging serialization – assigning unique identifiers to products ranging from consumer goods to complex medical devices – with smart manufacturing and traceability is the first step towards complete, end-to-end visibility over supply chains. As products are tracked, the resulting data gives products their pedigree, and provides a wealth of information that companies and consumers can use to inform better decisions.
Canadian authorities have approved funding of two blockchain firms, Peer Ledger and Mavennet, to create a platform that enables steel traceability, reported Ledger Insights on March 9. The Innovation, Science, and Financial Development Canada (ISED), a government initiative in charge of promoting the research and development of Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises, adopted the measure, granting both companies CAD $150,000.
The transparency, traceability, and immutability of data, recorded on distributed protocols, using blockchain technology, is touching a number of sectors but is "flooding", in an increasingly conspicuous way, the luxury sector. High-level consumers are increasingly looking for a safe and certified purchase that not only reassures them about the value of the object obtained, but also makes them "credible" when and if they want to sell it. It is no coincidence that for a year now, in the diamond sector, work has been underway to create a "certification" system which, if it is based mainly on the new technology of the moment, does not necessarily end with it. Among the first to move towards this development plan, the American jewellery house Tiffany & Co., which with the Diamond Source Initiative project, wants to make the geographical origin of its diamonds transparent, to guarantee 100% traceability of the diamond supply chain, through coded certificates, the Tiffany Diamond Certificates, in which the stone's specifications and provenance will be recorded.
Self-adaptive systems (SAS) automatically mitigate environmental changes and unexpected system issues at run time by adapting towards optimal configurations that enable continual requirements satisfaction. The increasing proliferation of SASs presents engineering challenges that reflect issues experienced by non-adaptive systems, more specifically, ensuring that continuing assurance for software artifacts is provided. In particular, ensuring that requirements traceability links are appropriately managed at run time in SASs can be an error-prone procedure and may require significant effort from a requirements engineer. Natural language processing (NLP) techniques have been used to recover broken or missing traceability links efficiently between requirements and other artifacts, however, performing traceability link recovery can introduce significant overhead for SASs. Specifically, the state-space explosion of possible combinations of environmental states, system parameters, and expressed behaviors can lead to states in which no traceability link exists, thereby necessitating recovery. This paper proposes Adaptive Requirements Traceability (ART), a conceptual framework for handling traceability recovery in terms of SASs. We motivate this framework with an illustrative example in the networking domain.
At a recent workshop on cybersecurity at Ditchley House sponsored by the Ditchley Foundation in the U.K., a primary topic of consideration was how to preserve the freedom and openness of the Internet while protecting against the harmful behaviors that have emerged in this global medium. That this is a significant challenge cannot be overstated. The bad behaviors range from social network bullying and misinformation to email spam, distributed denial of service attacks, direct cyberattacks against infrastructure, malware propagation, identity theft, and a host of other ills requiring a wide range of technical and legal considerations. That these harmful behaviors can and do cross international boundaries only makes it more difficult to fashion effective responses. In other columns, I have argued for better software development tools to reduce the common mistakes that lead to vulnerabilities that are exploited.