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Timing analysis of synchronous programs using WCRT Algebra: Scalability through abstraction

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Original languageEnglish
Article number177
Number of pages21
JournalACM Transactions on Embedded Computing Systems
Issue number5
Early online date27 Sep 2017
StatePublished - 10 Oct 2017


Synchronous languages are ideal for designing safety-critical systems. Static Worst-Case Reaction Time (WCRT) analysis is an essential component in the design flow that ensures the real-time requirements are met. There are a few approaches for WCRT analysis, and the most versatile of all is explicit path enumeration. However, as synchronous programs are highly concurrent, techniques based on this approach, such as model checking, suffer from state explosion as the number of threads increases. One observation on this problem is that these existing techniques analyse the program by enumerating a functionally equivalent automaton while WCRT is a non-functional property.
This mismatch potentially causes algorithm-induced state explosion. In this paper, we propose a WCRT analysis technique based on the notion of timing equivalence, expressed using WCRT algebra.
WCRT algebra can effectively capture the timing behaviour of a synchronous program by converting its intermediate representation Timed Concurrent Control Flow Graph (TCCFG) into a Tick Cost Automaton (TCA), a minimal automaton that is timing equivalent to the original program. Then the WCRT is computed over the TCA. We have implemented our approach and benchmarked it against state-of-the-art WCRT analysis techniques. The results show that the WCRT algebra is 3.5 times faster on average than the fastest published technique.

    Research areas

  • WCRT analysis, synchronous languages, timing algebra

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