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Position Statement for Panel on Grand Challenges in Embedded Software
Edward A. Lee

Citation
Edward A. Lee. "Position Statement for Panel on Grand Challenges in Embedded Software". EMSOFT 07, Salzburg, Austria, October, 2007.

Abstract
Abstractions currently used in computing hide timing properties of software. As a consequence, computer scientists have developed techniques that deliver improved average-case performance and/or design convenience at the expense of timing predictability. For embedded software, which interacts closely with physical processes, timing is usually an essential property. Lack of timing in the core abstractions results is brittle and non-portable designs. Moreover, as embedded software becomes more networked, the prevailing empirical test-based approach to achieving real-time computing becomes inadequate. I believe it is necessary to reintroduce timing predictability as a first-class property of embedded processor architectures. Architectures currently strive for superior average case performance that regrettably ignores predictability and repeatability of timing properties. "Correct" execution of a C program has nothing to do with how long it takes to perform any particular action. C says nothing about timing, so timing is not considered part of correctness. Architectures have developed deep pipelines with speculative execution and dynamic dispatch. Memory architectures have developed multi-level caches and TLBs. The performance criterion is simple: faster (on average) is better.

Electronic downloads

Citation formats  
  • HTML
    Edward A. Lee. <a
    href="http://chess.eecs.berkeley.edu/pubs/348.html"
    >Position Statement for Panel on Grand Challenges in
    Embedded Software</a>, EMSOFT 07, Salzburg, Austria,
    October, 2007.
  • Plain text
    Edward A. Lee. "Position Statement for Panel on Grand
    Challenges in Embedded Software". EMSOFT 07, Salzburg,
    Austria, October, 2007.
  • BibTeX
    @inproceedings{Lee07_PositionStatementForPanelOnGrandChallengesInEmbedded,
        author = {Edward A. Lee},
        title = {Position Statement for Panel on Grand Challenges
                  in Embedded Software},
        booktitle = {EMSOFT 07, Salzburg, Austria},
        month = {October},
        year = {2007},
        abstract = {Abstractions currently used in computing hide
                  timing properties of software. As a consequence,
                  computer scientists have developed techniques that
                  deliver improved average-case performance and/or
                  design convenience at the expense of timing
                  predictability. For embedded software, which
                  interacts closely with physical processes, timing
                  is usually an essential property. Lack of timing
                  in the core abstractions results is brittle and
                  non-portable designs. Moreover, as embedded
                  software becomes more networked, the prevailing
                  empirical test-based approach to achieving
                  real-time computing becomes inadequate. I believe
                  it is necessary to reintroduce timing
                  predictability as a first-class property of
                  embedded processor architectures. Architectures
                  currently strive for superior average case
                  performance that regrettably ignores
                  predictability and repeatability of timing
                  properties. "Correct" execution of a C program has
                  nothing to do with how long it takes to perform
                  any particular action. C says nothing about
                  timing, so timing is not considered part of
                  correctness. Architectures have developed deep
                  pipelines with speculative execution and dynamic
                  dispatch. Memory architectures have developed
                  multi-level caches and TLBs. The performance
                  criterion is simple: faster (on average) is
                  better. },
        URL = {http://chess.eecs.berkeley.edu/pubs/348.html}
    }
    

Posted by Christopher Brooks on 1 Oct 2007.
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