Probabilistic Software Timing Analysis

Building on the PROARTIS project and the numerous partner technologies (including RapiTime,  software simultion, TiCos, extreme value statistics and statisical analysis), PROXIMA provides software timing analysis and worst case execution time using probabilistic timing analysis (PTA).

The principle of PTA is that (if specific conditions are met) we can treat the system as a statistical system that has timing behaviour that forms a statistical distribution. This is called an execution time profile (ETP).

Tool support for ETPs is provided by RapiTime, which can measure ETPs and combine them together in the correct way to give a system-wide overview.

Randomized timing behaviour

PROXIMA pursues the development of probabilistically time analyzable (PTA) techniques and tools for multicore/manycore platforms. The project will selectively introduce randomization in the timing behavior of certain hardware and software resources as a way to facilitate the use probabilities to predict the overall timing behavior of the software and its likelihood of timing failure.

Multi-core and Many-core

PROXIMA will go far beyond PROARTIS for multicore systems by considering COTS technology at both FPGA and RTOS level to address the disruption caused to the tightness and robustness of PTA bounds by non-PTA-conformant components. PROXIMA will also investigate how the principles of PTA extend to manycore systems and propose the PTA-conformant design of new manycore processors. Furthermore, where the PROARTIS solutions were assessed against avionics needs, PROXIMA will cover a wider cross-section of the CRTES industrial domains including in addition, space, railways, and automotive.

Critical Real-Time Embedded Systems

In the next decade, EU industries developing CRTES (safety, mission or business critical) will face a once-in-a-life-time disruptive challenge caused by the transition to multicore processors and the advent of manycores, tantamount to complex networked systems. This challenge brings the opportunity to integrate multiple applications onto the same hardware platform bringing significant advantages in performance, production costs, and reliability. It also brings a severe threat relating to a key problem of CRTES; the need to prove that all temporal constraints will be satisfied during operation.

Current CRTES, based on relatively simple singlecore processors, are already extremely difficult to analyse for temporal behaviour, resulting in errors in operation costing EU industry billions each year. The advent of multicore and manycore platforms exacerbates this problem, rendering traditional temporal analysis techniques ineffectual. A new approach is needed.

The PROXIMA thesis is that the temporal behaviour of mixed-criticality CRTES executing on multicore and manycore platforms can be analysed effectively via innovative probabilistic techniques. PROXIMA defines new hardware and software architectural paradigms based on the concept of randomisation. It extends this approach across the hardware and software stack ensuring that the risks of temporal pathological cases are reduced to quantifiably small levels. On top of this, PROXIMA builds a comprehensive suite of probabilistic analysis methods integrated into commercial design, development, and verification tools, complemented by appropriate arguments for certification.

PROXIMA provides a complete infrastructure; harnessing the full potential of new processor resources, demonstrating and supporting effective temporal analysis, bringing the probabilistic approach to a state of technological readiness, and priming multiple EU industry sectors in its use via a number of case studies.