Fay-Wolfe, Victor

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  • Publication
    Motivating Time as a First Class Entity
    (1987-10-30) Lee, Insup; Davidson, Susan B; Fay-Wolfe, Victor
    In hard real-time applications, programs must not only be functionally correct but must also meet timing constraints. Unfortunately, little work has been done to allow a high-level incorporation of timing constraints into distributed real-time programs. Instead the programmer is required to ensure system timing through a complicated synchronization process or through low-level programming, making it difficult to create and modify programs. In this report, we describe six features that must be integrated into a high level language and underlying support system in order to promote time to a first class position in distributed real-time programming systems: expressibility of time, real-time communication, enforcement of timing constraints, fault tolerance to violations of constraints, ensuring distributed system state consistency in the time domain, and static timing verification. For each feature we describe what is required, what related work had been performed, and why this work does not adequately provide sufficient capabilities for distributed real-time programming. We then briefly outline an integrated approach to provide these six features using a high-level distributed programming language and system tools such as compilers, operating systems, and timing analyzers to enforce and verify timing constraints.