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Using Time and Timestamps for Deterministic Distributed Software




Start time:

2020-03-10 15:00

End time:

2020-03-10 16:00


Mälardalens högskola, Västerås campus, room Omega

Contact person:


Concurrent and distributed software based on publish-and-subscribe, actors, and service-oriented architectures are sometimes used to realize distributed cyber-physical systems. Broadly, these mechanisms compose software components that have private state and communicate with each other via message passing and/or remote procedure calls. However, the underlying mechanisms are less deterministic than they could be, and for some cyber-physical systems, the resulting unpredictability is debilitating. In this talk, I described some simple challenge problems that are common in distributed cyber-physical systems and extremely difficult to solve using any of these methods. I  offer an alternative model of computation that we call "reactors" that solves these problems simply and elegantly and that is able to leverage decades of results from the real-time systems community. The reactors model is being implemented in a coordination language called Lingua Franca, which extends messages with logical timestamps that provide a semantic ordering. By leveraging synchronized clocks, an efficient distributed implementation guarantees determinacy when network latencies and clock synchronization error remain below assumed bounds.

Edward Lee,