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Researchers are currently investigating applying benefit, or utility functions for allocating resources in limited, soft real time systems. While the future of real-time computing research and practice will likely exploit the utility of benefit-based models, this will not occur until a suitable system level benefit framework has been defined. This paper provides an overview of ongoing work to develop such an initial framework that can formalize the use of benefit functions in complex real time systems. It is easily shown that this framework can support traditional hard/firm/soft real-time paradigms as well as support newer proposed models for future real time operation. We also show that our proposed framework unifies composition of benefit values derived from heterogeneous perspectives, including those derived from the application perspective.