Portrait of Brendan Murphy

Brendan Murphy

Principal Researcher


Brendan Murphy is a Principal Researcher at the Microsoft Research Centre in Cambridge UK. Brendan works in the Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement (ESE) group at Microsoft focusing on software reliability, dependability, quality and process issues. Over the last year Brendan has been researching software development practices within Microsoft.

Prior to his current position at Microsoft, Brendan was at Compaq Corporation (previously Digital), Ayr Scotland till August 1999, where he ran the DPP program which collected and analysed dependability data from customer sites. Prior to working in Scotland, Brendan worked for Digital in Galway Ireland, UNISYS (Scotland and US) and ICL (West Gorton, Manchester).

Brendan graduated from Newcastle University.





Research Interests

My research interests lie in the area of System Dependability which encompasses Measurement, Reliability and Availability. My areas of focus, using data currently available are:

Software Development Practices:

Through working with the product groups to interpret process and product metrics it is possible to get a holistic picture of a products development process. Through performing similar work across multiple diverse products it is possible to identify the effectiveness of different development methodologies to address different product spaces.

Process and Product Measurement:

Developing metrics that characterize the way software systems are built. Prior work identified relationships between software development attributes and software quality. This work is being extended to identify the relationship between the software development process (people and tools) and software quality.

Failure prediction:

Previous analysis of the data logged by applications identified burst of activity which appear to be indicative of potentially catastrophic problems. The focus of this work is now on failure predictions based on how the software is developed. Through analysing the profile of the software development it is possible to predict the ‘riskier’ software.

Prior work

  • System Fault Management architectures.
  • Correlating the availability and reliability as perceived by the end users, against the application, cluster and nodal behaviour occurring on the server.

Current Activities

 I serve on the steering committee of ISSRE (IEEE International Symposium on Software Reliability Engineering). I also participate actively in the DSN community and serve on several PCs.

I was the general chair for ISSRE 2008 in Redmond/Seattle.