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Probabilistic study of end-to-end constraints in real-time systems

Cristian Maxim 1
1 AOSTE - Models and methods of analysis and optimization for systems with real-time and embedding constraints
CRISAM - Inria Sophia Antipolis - Méditerranée , Inria Paris-Rocquencourt, Laboratoire I3S - COMRED - COMmunications, Réseaux, systèmes Embarqués et Distribués
Abstract : In our times, we are surrounded by technologies meant to improve our lives, to assure its security, or programmed to realize different functions and to respect a series of constraints. We consider them as embedded systems or often as parts of cyber-physical systems. An embedded system is a microprocessor-based system that is built to control a function or a range of functions and is not designed to be programmed by the end user in the same way that a PC is. The Worst Case Execution Time (WCET) of a task represents the maximum time it can take to be executed. The WCET is obtained after analysis and most of the time it cannot be accurately determined by exhausting all the possible executions. This is why, in industry, the measurements are done only on a subset of possible scenarios (the one that would generate the highest execution times) and an execution time bound is estimated by adding a safety margin to the greatest observed time. Amongst all branches of real-time systems, an important role is played by the Critical Real-Time Embedded Systems (CRTES) domain. CRTESs are widely being used in fields like automotive, avionics, railway, health-care, etc. The performance of CRTESs is analyzed not only from the point of view of their correctness, but also from the perspective of time. In the avionics industry such systems have to undergo a strict process of analysis in order to fulfill a series of certification criteria demanded by the certifications authorities, being the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in Europe or the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in United States. The avionics industry in particular and the real-time domain in general are known for being conservative and adapting to new technologies only when it becomes inevitable. For the avionics industry this is motivated by the high cost that any change in the existing functional systems would bring. Any change in the software or hardware has to undergo another certification process which cost the manufacturer money, time and resources. Despite their conservative tendency, the airplane producers cannot stay inactive to the constant change in technology and ignore the performance benefices brought by COTS processors which nowadays are mainly multi-processors. As a curiosity, most of the microprocessors found in airplanes flying actually in the world, have a smaller computation power than a modern home PC. Their chips-sets are specifically designed for embedded applications characterized by low power consumption, predictability and many I/O peripherals. In the actual context, where critical real-time systems are invaded by multi-core platforms, the WCET analysis using deterministic approaches becomes difficult, if not impossible. The time constraints of real-time systems need to be verified in the context of certification. This verification, done during the entire development cycle, must take into account architectures more and more complex. These architectures increase the cost and complexity of actual, deterministic, tools to identify all possible time constrains and dependencies that can occur inside the system, risking to overlook extreme cases. An alternative to these problems is the probabilistic approach, which is more adapted to deal with these hazards and uncertainty and which allows a precise modeling of the system. 2.Contributions. The contribution of the thesis is three folded containing the conditions necessary for using the theory of extremes on executions time measurements, the methods developed using the theory of extremes for analyzing real-time systems and experimental results. 2.1. Conditions for use of EVT in the real-time domain. In this chapter we establish the environment in which our work is done. The use of EVT in any domain comes with a series of restrictions for the data being analyzed. In our case the data being analyzed consists in execution time measurements.
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Cristian Maxim. Probabilistic study of end-to-end constraints in real-time systems. Systems and Control [cs.SY]. Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris VI, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017PA066479⟩. ⟨tel-02003251⟩

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