I feel robust is used too often and incorrectly when describing processes and systems. What would be other possible words to describe processes and systems besides: effective, efficacious, and sound?
Robust is an established technical term that means something specific to engineers and scientists in the context of systems and control theory, so substituting another word for
robust when it is used correctly could cause confusion or create the impression of ignorance. Technical terms cannot really be used "too often". If the word fits, it should be used, since anything else will be less precise. You could throw more words at it and say that a control system "maintains an adequate phase margin irrespective of moderate variations in system parameters", but saying it is "robust" conveys a very similar meaning in fewer words.
Robust in the context you are describing normally means that the process or system can handle (or bounce back from) problems caused by unexpected events or circumstances.
I think that robust is perfectly fine and well-understood if this is the meaning you are looking for.
Resilient may be an alternative with similar meaning.
If you are looking for a word with some different meaning you may want to explicitly define which meaning you desire.
robust has a specific meaning in the context of computer systems. It refers to systems that are not fragile, meaning that they are not easily crashed or put into an error state, or are able to gracefully recover from error states. Since
robust essentially means
not fragile, it sounds like the word
antifragile is a synonym, but
antifragile has a different, more esoteric meaning. According to http://www.investopedia.com/terms/a/anti-fragility.asp "anti-fragility goes beyond robustness; it means that something does not merely withstand a shock but actually improves because of it". If you're using "antifragile" to describe a computer system, you're probably using it wrong, because computer systems as a rule cannot be made to function better by being put into an error state or being given bad input.
I feel robust is used too often and incorrectly when describing processes and systems.
Some related words (from system or network engineering) include:
- Available (spends most of its time being up).
- Reliable (doesn't go down very often).
Recoverable (fixable when it does go down)
- Resilient (self-recovers from failures).
- Maintainable or Repairable (operator recovers from failures).
"Reliable" can be a measure of MTBF (mean time between failures).
"Recoverable" is a measure of MTTR (mean time to recover).
"Available" is the fraction of time that it's 'up', calculable as ((MTBF) / (MTBF + MTTR)).
What would be other possible words to describe processes and systems besides: effective, efficacious, and sound?
These other words (i.e. "effective, efficacious, and sound") don't mean "robust".
Alternatives for some of these other words include "useful", "usable", "widely used", "well designed", "well implemented", and/or "well run".
Not to mention "feature rich", "multi-platform", "mobile", "affordable", etc., but you can't really ask here for a list of all adjectives which can be applied to processes and systems.