C O L U M B U S

Design of Embedded Controllers for Safety Critical Systems

Project IST-2001-38314

 

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The design of embedded systems deals with the implementation of a set of functionalities satisfying a number of con-straints ranging from performance to cost, emissions, power consumption and weight.

The choice of implementation archi-tecture implies which functionality will be implemented as a hardware component and which as software running on a programmable component. The design of embedded hardware and software poses a number of problems that cannot be addressed by traditional methods. These include hard constraints on reaction speed, memory footprint, power consump-tion, and, most importantly, the need to verify design correctness.

  The latter is a critical aspect of embedded systems since several application domains, such as transportation and environment monitoring, are characterized by safety considera-tions that do not arise in traditional, PC-like software applications. In this two year project we will develop design methods and tools for embedded systems in safety critical applications. The work will be motivated by the experience of the partners in automotive, flight control and air traffic applications.

It will involve the development of:

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a theoretical modelling and design framework, based on abstract algebra and the theory of stochastic hybrid systems;

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software tools, based on the theoretical developments and used to address specific problems in the application areas;

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standards, such as Application Programmer Interfaces, to improve the usability, flexibility and impact of the methods and tools.