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JCSE, vol. 2, no. 4, pp.340-356, December, 2008


On the Design of Distributed Time-Triggered Embedded Systems

Hermann Kopetz
Technical Univ. of Vienna, Austria

Abstract: The cognitive constraints of the human mind must drive the decisions in architecture andmethodology design in order that the systems we build are comprehensible. This paper presentsa methodology for the design of time-triggered embedded systems that leads to understandableartifacts. We lift the design process to a higher level of abstractionto the level of computationalcomponents that interact solely by the exchange of messages. The time-triggered architecturemakes it possible to specify the temporal properties of component interfaces precisely andprovides temporally predictable message communication, such that the precise behavior of alarge design can be studied in the early phases of a design on the basis of the componentinterface specifications. This paper shows how the cognitive simplification strategies ofabstraction, partitioning and segmentation are supported by the time-triggered architectureand its associated design methodology to construct evolvable embedded systems that can bereadily understood and modified.

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