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Mixed-Criticality Task Synchronization in Zero-Slack Scheduling

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3 Author(s)

Recent years have seen an increasing interest in the scheduling of mixed-criticality real-time systems. These systems are composed of groups of tasks with different levels of criticality deployed over the same processor(s). Such systems must be able to accommodate additional execution-time requirements that may occasionally be needed. When overload conditions develop, critical tasks must still meet their timing constraints at the expense of less critical tasks. Zero-slack scheduling algorithms are promising candidates for such systems. These algorithms guarantee that all tasks meet their deadlines when no overload occurs, and that criticality ordering is satisfied under overloads. Unfortunately, when mutually exclusive resources are shared across tasks, these guarantees are voided. Furthermore, the dual-execution modes of tasks in mixed-criticality systems violate the assumptions of traditional real-time synchronization protocols like PCP and hence the latter cannot be used directly. In this paper, we develop extensions to real-time synchronization protocols (Priority Inheritance and Priority Ceiling Protocol) that coordinate the mode changes of the zero-slack scheduler. We analyze the properties of these new protocols and the blocking terms they introduce. We maintain the deadlock avoidance property of our PCP extension, called the Priority and Criticality Ceiling Protocol (PCCP), and limit the blocking to only one critical section for each of the zero-slack scheduling execution modes. We also develop techniques to accommodate the blocking terms arising from synchronization, in calculating the zero-slack instants used by the scheduler. Finally, we conduct an experimental evaluation of PCCP. Our evaluation shows that PCCP is able to take advantage of the capacity of zero-slack schedulers to reclaim unused over-provisioning of resources that are only used in critical execution modes. This allows PCCP to accommodate larger blocking terms.

Published in:

Real-Time and Embedded Technology and Applications Symposium (RTAS), 2011 17th IEEE

Date of Conference:

11-14 April 2011