Visible to the public CPS: Breakthrough: Collaborative Research: Bringing the Multicore Revolution to Safety-Critical Cyber-Physical SystemsConflict Detection Enabled

Project Details
Lead PI:James Anderson
Performance Period:02/01/13 - 01/31/17
Institution(s):University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Sponsor(s):National Science Foundation
Project URL:
Award Number:1239135
603 Reads. Placed 312 out of 803 NSF CPS Projects based on total reads on all related artifacts.
Abstract: Multicore platforms have the potential of revolutionizing the capabilities of embedded cyber-physical systems. Unfortunately, when such systems have safety-critical components, multicore platforms are rarely used. The reason is a lack of predictability associated with hardware components such as caches, memory controllers, etc., that are shared among cores. With current technology, very conservative estimates concerning the usage of these shared resources must be made, to certify that overuse violations do not occur at runtime. The resulting over-provisioning can be significant, easily negating the processing power of any additional cores. The goal of this project is to resolve this multicore "predictability problem" by developing allocation mechanisms that enable shared hardware resources to be controlled in a predictable way. The research agenda in this project includes fundamental research on relevant real-time resource allocation problems, prototyping efforts involving real-time operating systems and middleware, and experimental evaluations of improvements enabled by the developed mechanisms in timing analysis tools (which are used to determine task execution-time budgets). Addressing the "predictability problem" associated with multicore platforms would be a breakthrough result for safety-critical, cyber-physical systems in domains such as avionics and automobiles. When using multicore platforms to host highly-critical workloads in these domains, the current state of the art is to obviate the predictability problem by turning off all but one core. Unless a more intelligent solution can be found, such domains will not benefit from savings in size, weight, and power (SWaP) and gains in functionality that multicore platforms afford. Broader impacts include joint research with industry colleagues on supporting real-time workloads in unmanned air vehicles, the development of publicly-available open-source software that can be used by other institutions for research and teaching purposes, and the development of a new course on cyber-physical systems.