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Title: Design and analysis of task models for mixed-criticality systems with practical considerations
Authors: Sundar, Vijaya Kumar
Keywords: Engineering::Computer science and engineering
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Source: Sundar, V. K. (2022). Design and analysis of task models for mixed-criticality systems with practical considerations. Doctoral thesis, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Abstract: The current trend in designing safety-critical real-time embedded systems is to consolidate applications performing functionalities with varying levels of safety integrity requirements onto a common platform. These systems are commonly referred to as Mixed Criticality Systems (MCS) and are found in safety-critical domains such as avionics and automotive. The main goals of MCS are to provide high reliability in execution for safety-critical software and at the same time to strike a balance between the pessimistic resource reservations for safety versus efficient resource utilization for cost-effectiveness. Such systems are also required to adapt their functionality depending on their operating mode. To achieve these goals, the application designer relies on task models to provide parameters such as period, deadline, budgets, and criticality of tasks, to denote the required timing behaviour which is later verified by applying mathematical techniques to ensure that the resource allocated for tasks are sufficient to meet their deadlines, even under the occurrence of system overload due to timing faults such as budget overrun of a task. Safety standards like ISO 26262 (functional safety standard for automotive) consider four to five levels of criticality. But, to simplify the complexity of the analysis involved in verifying the timing behaviour, a majority of the existing MCS task models consider only two criticality levels (high and low) for tasks. Although such a simplified model can capture the fundamental behaviour of MCS, these models face criticisms for their approach to handling system overload by suspending or degrading tasks with lower criticality than the overloading tasks. Such a degradation strategy may not be safe for those systems which support more than 2 criticality levels. As MCS can also undergo functional mode changes at run-time, a system overload can occur due to a budget overrun of a high criticality task and/or due to a spike in the resource consumption pattern leading to a temporary system overload when tasks belonging to different modes execute together for a certain time interval when system switches from one mode to another. Most real-time system models that focus on functional mode changes do not focus on capturing mixed-criticality aspects of the system. To address these issues, graph-based MCS task models were proposed as they can provide a higher level of flexibility in the choice of degradation of tasks and to model functional mode change aspects, but such models are harder to analyse. In this thesis, as a first step, we present the Context-Aware Mixed Criticality System (CA-MCS) model that is expressive enough to handle system overload caused due to budget overruns of tasks while operating in a specific mode. The model is motivated by the guidelines provided by ISO 26262 and from case studies related to the automotive domain that clearly show that a task can be degraded in multiple ways, and it is possible to consider performance degradation of higher criticality task instead of suspension or degradation of the core functionality of lower criticality tasks. By considering these possibilities, the CA-MCS model is designed in such a way that it can provide a higher level of flexibility to choose the tasks to be degraded and the specific way in which they can be degraded. Further, the criticality information of a task is used only to decide on the degraded budget when the budget overrun of multiple tasks occur. As a second step, we focus on MCS that can undergo functional mode changes and present the Multi-Mode Mixed Criticality System (MM-MCS) model. The proposed model is expressive enough to capture parameters to determine the budget, release patterns and degradation of tasks during the mode transition, and considers both task degradation and the notion of offsets to handle the system overload. Further, the MM-MCS model establishes precise rules to handle budget overrun of tasks both within a mode and during mode transitions. Additionally, an algorithm to compute the offset values for newmode tasks based on their criticality value is also derived. The fixed-priority based schedulability tests for a uniprocessor system is proposed for CA-MCS and MM-MCS models with complexity still being pseudo-polynomial with respect to the number of tasks. The experimental results based on synthetic task sets for these tests show the benefit of considering offsets and task degradation to improve the schedulability performance. Further, the algorithm presented to compute offsets clearly shows that criticality information can play an important role not only for achieving task degradation but also for determining suitable offset values for higher criticality tasks. As a third step, we present a realistic automotive testbed that is designed and implemented with automotive applications such as Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Steering Control (SC) and Collision Avoidance (CA). The main objective is to observe the impact of different degradation strategies adopted by MCS models on the performance and safety aspects of these applications. Experimental results show that the proposed models can give the ability to degrade the performance of the system in a controlled manner by isolating the effects of degradation between safety applications. The testbed is highly flexible, scalable, can facilitate the implementation of any new MCS task models, and can be included as a lab exercise in the university courses related to real-time systems or automated driving.
DOI: 10.32657/10356/155381
Schools: School of Computer Science and Engineering 
Research Centres: Hardware & Embedded Systems Lab (HESL) 
Rights: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SCSE Theses

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