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Content archived on 2024-05-18

Design of Embedded Controllers for Safety Critical Systems


Embedded systems form an integral part of modern life and are vital in applications ranging from cellular phones, automobiles, industrial plants, home appliances, airplanes and even toys. In this pioneering project we bring together experts from both Europe and the US to address problems in the challenging and important area of embedded system design for safety critical applications. In this domain, the design has to meet hard real-time constraints, be fault tolerant and design-error free, and be able to react to a non-deterministic and possibly adversarial environment. Motivated by our experience in automotive, flight and air traffic applications we will work towards an optimised, semi-automated, transparent, verifiable and mathematically correct flow from product specification through to implementation.

The design of embedded systems deals with the implementation of a set of functionalities satisfying a number of constraints ranging from performance to cost, emissions, power consumption and weight. The choice of implementation architecture implies which functionality will be implemented as a hardware component and which as software running on a programmable component. The design of embedded hardware and software poses a number of problems that cannot be addressed by traditional methods. These include hard constraints on reaction speed, memory footprint, power consumption, and, most importantly, the need to verify design correctness. The latter is a critical aspect of embedded systems since several application domains, such as transportation and environment monitoring, are characterized by safety considerations that do not arise in traditional, PC-like software applications. In this two-year project we will develop design methods and tools for embedded systems in safety critical applications. The work will be motivated by the experience of the partners in automotive, flight control and air traffic applications. It will involve the development of:
- a theoretical modelling and design framework, based on abstract algebra and the theory of stochastic hybrid systems;
- software tools, based on the theoretical developments and used to address specific problems in the application areas;
- standards, such as Application Programmer Interfaces, to improve the usability, flexibility and impact of the methods and tools.

The ultimate goal is a design methodology for embedded controllers for safety critical systems. In the process we will develop
(1) a theory to provide the foundation for error free specification, design, and early verification,%l(2) software tools, that use this theory as the integration platform,
(3) a complete characterization of platform architectures in terms of layers of abstraction,
(4) a set of Application Programmer Interfaces, to facilitate the interaction and the integration.

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
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26500 PATRAS

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Total cost
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Participants (5)