By Douglas C. Schmidt
Chief Technology Officer
As noted in the National Research Council’s report Critical Code: Software Producibility for Defense, mission-critical Department of Defense (DoD) systems increasingly rely on software for their key capabilities. Ironically, it is increasingly hard to motivate investment in long-term software research for the DoD. This lack of investment stems, in part, from the difficulty that acquisitions programs have making a compelling case for the return on these investments in software research. This post explores how the SEI is using the Systems and Software Producibility Collaboration and Experimentation Environment (SPRUCE) to help address this problem.
By Dionisio de Niz
Senior Member of the Technical Staff,
Research, Technology, and System Solutions
Cyber-physical systems (CPS)
are characterized by close interactions between software components and
physical processes. These interactions can have life-threatening
consequences when they include safety-critical functions that are not
performed according to their time-sensitive requirements. For example,
an airbag must fully inflate within 20 milliseconds (its deadline) of an
accident to prevent the driver from hitting the steering wheel with
potentially fatal consequences. Unfortunately, the competition of
safety-critical requirements with other demands to reduce the cost,
power consumption, and device size also create problems, such as
automotive recalls, new aircraft delivery delays, and plane accidents.
Our research leverages the fact that failing to meet deadlines doesn’t
always have the same level of criticality for all functions. For
instance, if a music player fails to meet its deadlines the sound
quality may be compromised, but lives are not threatened. Systems whose
functions have different criticalities are known as mixed criticality
systems. This blog posting updates our earlier post to describe the latest results of our research on supporting mixed-criticality operations by giving more central processing unit (CPU) time to functions with higher value while ensuring critical timing guarantees.
By Dionisio de Niz
Senior Member of the Technical Staff, RTSS
some key industries, such as defense, automobiles, medical devices, and
the smart grid, the bulk of the innovations focus on cyber-physical
systems. A key characteristic of cyber-physical systems is the close
interaction of software components with physical processes, which impose
stringent safety and time/space performance requirements on the
systems. This blog post describes research and development we are
conducting at the SEI to optimize the performance of cyber-physical
systems without compromising their safety.