Time in SCCharts

Synchronous languages, such as the recently proposed SCCharts language, have been designed for the rigorous specification of real-time systems. Their sound semantics, which builds on an abstraction from physical execution time, make these languages appealing, in particular for safety-critical systems. However, they traditionally lack built-in support for physical time. This makes it rather cumbersome to express things like time-outs or periodic executions within the language. We here propose several mechanisms to reconcile the synchronous paradigm with physical time. Specifically, we propose extensions to the SCCharts language to express clocks and execution periods within the model. We draw on several sources, in particular timed automata, the Clock Constraint Specification Language, and the recently proposed concept of dynamic ticks. We illustrate how these extensions can be mapped to the SCChart language core, with minimal requirements on the run-time system, and we argue that the same concepts could be applied to other synchronous languages such as Esterel, Lustre or SCADE.

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