An Optimization Framework for Scheduling of Embedded Real-Time Systems
Doctoral thesis, 2004
Embedded real-time systems - appearing in products such as cars and mobile phones - are nowadays common in our everyday lives. Despite this fact, the design process of such systems is still cumbersome due to the large variety of design constraints that must be considered to ensure a safe operation of the system. In particular, present scheduling techniques - that analyze the timing behavior of the system - typically assume a too limited model to truly represent the system. In addition, to make the system cost-effective its design should be optimized regarding performance measures such as resource utilization, energy consumption and robustness. Unfortunately, optimization in general is very time-consuming process, often without guarantee that the best solution will be found.
This thesis addresses these problems by proposing a scheduling framework that not only enables arbitrary design constraints to be modelled but also allows for design optimization. The framework is based on constraint programming, and this thesis presents how the problem of scheduling embedded real-time systems can be modeled and solved using this technique. In addition, a number of novel techniques for reducing the runtime of the optimization algorithm are presented. This includes the identification and exclusion of symmetries in the solution space as well as fast and tight estimates of how good a solution may get. Finally, this thesis contains a performance comparison between the proposed framework and other state-of-the-art scheduling algorithms. The evaluation shows that both the quality of the solutions and the optimization time is improved over previous approaches - in many cases the order of the solution time is reduced from minutes to seconds.