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Distributed real-time systems, such as factory automation systems, require that computer nodes communicate with a known and low bound on the communication delay. This can be achieved with traditional time division multiple access (TDMA). But improved flexibility and simpler upgrades are possible through the use of TDMA with slot-skipping (TDMA/SS), meaning that a slot is skipped whenever it is not used and consequently the slot after the skipped slot starts earlier. We propose a schedulability analysis for TDMA/SS. We assume knowledge of all message streams in the system, and that each node schedules messages in its output queue according to deadline monotonic. Firstly, we present a non-exact (but fast) analysis and then, at the cost of computation time, we also present an algorithm that computes exact queuing times.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2008