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Generic upgradable architectures for real-time dependable systems


Led by three major industrialists in the Space, Nuclear and Railways fields, the GUARDS project addresses the development of methods, techniques and tools to support the design, implementation and validation of safety-critical real-time systems.

The gap between the costly proprietary architectures targeted at very high dependability and cheap commercial architectures with less stringent requirements provides evidence of a lack of an intermediate class of architectures based on an acceptable compromise between high dependability, low cost and openness : this is the main objective of GUARDS.

The innovating objective of GUARDS lies in the elaboration and exploitation of a consistent methodology integrating the following three properties:

- Genericity, to support reusability of hardware and software components and architectures in multiple application and domains,
- Dependability, to support the design, verification and validation of dependability properties,
- Real-time, to support the fulfilment of constraints related to time and scheduling.
The project stems from careful examination of the major trends in the domain of Dependable Computing for Safety-critical Applications (DCSA). It investigates new architectures and development methods accounting for reusability, flexibility and cohabitation of software at multiple levels of criticality. The current high cost of DCSA is tackled through the reuse of well-validated architectures based as much as possible on commercial off-the-shelf software and hardware components (COTS).

Towards these objectives, GUARDS elaborates appropriate methods, architectures, specific components and tools to support the development of families of products complying with the requirements of various industrial domains, in the case of dependable applications. Although the use of existing results is favoured, specific development of generic dependability mechanisms embodying fault tolerance and safety mechanisms are nevertheless required for what concerns global properties such as timeliness or means to process errors due to hardware malfunctions, software design faults or man-machine interaction problems.

In the first phase, the Study Phase, a careful specification of GUARDS deduced from the needs of Industrial End-Users forms the basis from which appropriate mechanisms and architectures are identified and specified by Academic Partners with the support of Technology Providers' expertise and tools. In the second phase, the Development and Experimentation Phase, the resulting development path is validated against three industrial applications from the space, nuclear and railway domains.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Centre D'etudes De Saclay
91192 Gif Sur Yvette

Participants (7)

Ansaldo Segnalamento Ferroviario Spa
Zona Industriale Tito Scalo
85050 Tito, Potenza
Ansaldo Trasporti
Via Nuova Delle Brecce 260
80147 Napoli
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique Acting for and On Behalf of Laboratoire D'analyse et D'architecture des Systemes
Avenue Edouard Belin 14-16
31054 Toulouse
Intecs Sistemi S.P.A.
Via L. Gereschi 32/34
56127 Pisa
4 Rue De Presbourg
75116 Paris
Siemens Ag Osterreich
Gudrunstrasse 11
1100 Vienna
University of York
United Kingdom
Heslington -
YO1 5DD York