Testability of Dynamic Real-Time Systems: An Empirical Study of Constrained Execution Environment Implications,

1st IEEE International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation (ICST 2008), pages 112-120, April 2008, Lillehammer, Norway.

Birgitta Lindstrom, Jeff Offutt and Sten Andler.


Real-time systems must respond to events in a timely fashion; in hard real-time systems the penalty for a missed deadline is high. It is therefore necessary to design hard real-time systems so that the timing behavior of the tasks can be predicted. Static real-time systems have prior knowledge of the worst-case arrival patterns and resource usage. Therefore, a schedule can be calculated off-line and tasks can be guaranteed to have sufficient resources to complete (resource adequacy). Dynamic real-time systems, on the other hand, do not have such prior knowledge, and therefore must react to events when they occur. They also must adapt to changes in the urgencies of various tasks, and fairly allocate resources among the tasks. A disadvantage of static real-time systems is that a requirement on resource adequacy makes them expensive and often impractical. Dynamic realtime systems, on the other hand, have the disadvantage of being less predictable and therefore difficult to test. Hence, in dynamic systems, timeliness is hard to guarantee and reliability is often low. Using a constrained execution environment, we attempt to increase the testability of such systems. An initial step is to identify factors that affect testability. We present empirical results on how various factors in the execution environment impacts testability of real-time systems. The results show that some of the factors, previously identified as possibly impacting testability, do not have an impact, while others do.

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