Reactive processing for synchronous languages and its worst case reaction time analysis

Many embedded systems belong to the class of reactive systems. These are systems that have to react continuously to the environment at a rate that is determined by the environment. Reactive systems have two specific characteristics : their control flow requires concurrency and preemption, and, since the reactive systems are often safety-critical, we must be able to prove the correctness of the behavior and of the timing. To implement reactive systems, the synchronous languages were developed, which have a clear mathematical semantics and allow the expression of concurrency and preemption in a deterministic way. Programs in a synchronous language can be either compiled to software and run on a common processor, they can be synthesized to a hardware description, or a software/hardware co-design approach can be taken. However, the compilation of synchronous hardware into efficient code is not trivial. To improve the efficiency of the execution and at the same time simplify the compilation, reactive processors were introduced, which have an instruction set architecture that is inspired by synchronous languages. In particular, reactive processors have direct support for preemption and concurrency. Furthermore, these processors optimize the worst case reaction time, in contrast to common processors which optimize the average case reaction time. This simplifies the timing analysis, which is necessary to prove that a system meets its timing requirements. This thesis presents three contributions to reactive systems: - A formal semantics is given to the Kiel Esterel Processor (KEP), a reactive processor to execute the synchronous language Esterel. Also a compilation scheme from SyncCharts to the KEP assembler is presented, in addition to the existing compilation from Esterel into KEP assembler. - The Kiel Lustre Processor is introduced, a reactive processor for the synchronous dataflow language Lustre, which allows true parallel execution with multiple processing units. - Different approaches for the worst case reaction time analysis of KEP programs are presented: a search for the longest execution path in the KEP assembler, a formal modeling of the execution times based on interface algebras. Also an approach to use model checking to analyze the reaction time is applied to the KEP.


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