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Fault-Tolerant Distributed Deployment of Embedded Control Software

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3 Author(s)

Safety-critical feedback-control applications may suffer faults in the controlled plant as well as in the execution platform, i.e., the controller. Control theorists design the control laws to be robust with respect to the former kind of faults while assuming an idealized scenario for the latter. The execution platforms supporting modern real-time embedded systems, however, are distributed architectures made of heterogeneous components that may incur transient or permanent faults. Making the platform fault tolerant involves the introduction of design redundancy with obvious impact on the final cost. We present a design flow that enables the efficient exploration of redundancy/cost tradeoffs. After providing a system-level specification of the target platform and the fault model, designers can rely on the synthesis of the low-level fault-tolerance mechanisms. This is performed automatically as part of the embedded software deployment through the combination of the following three steps: replication, mapping, and scheduling. Our approach has a sound foundation in fault-tolerant data flow, a novel model of computation that simplifies the integration of formal validation techniques. Finally, we report on the application of our design flow to two case studies from the automotive industry: a steer-by-wire system from General Motors and a drive-by-wire system from BMW.

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Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:27 ,  Issue: 5 )