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WCET Analysis of Component-Based Systems Using Timing Traces

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2 Author(s)
Betts, A. ; Dept. of Comput., Imperial Coll. London, London, UK ; Marref, A.

Construction of a Real-Time System (RTS) out of a number of pre-fabricated pieces of software, otherwise known as components, is a pervasive area of interest. Typically, only relocatable object code of the component is shipped to the customer, so that it can later be linked into the overall application. Source code is therefore withheld, and disassembling of the object code is normally disallowed to protect intellectual property. Both of these restrictions complicate, or even prevent, state-of-the-art Worst-Case Execution Time (WCET) analysis of the RTS since most techniques are grounded on their availability in order to generate a complete program model. The alternative solution - widespread in industrial circles - is to record the largest end-to-end execution time of the RTS under functional testing, but this underestimates the actual WCET, in the general case. This paper shows how to obtain a safer WCET estimate of a RTS composed of components using time-stamped traces of program execution. In effect, the data needed in the WCET computation (program model, execution times, execution bounds) are derived exclusively from parsing of the traces. Experiments indicate that, once simple coverage metrics have been obtained, the calculated WCET estimate bounds the actual WCET. Moreover, where instrumentation (which produces the time-stamped traces) is placed with respect to program structure has a significant bearing on the accuracy of the computed WCET estimate.

Published in:

Engineering of Complex Computer Systems (ICECCS), 2011 16th IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

27-29 April 2011