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Towards a Multi-OS Architecture for Consistent User Interface Experience


Licentiate presentation

Start time:

2016-12-16 13:00

End time:

2016-12-16 15:00


Room Paros, Mälardalen University, Västerås

Contact person:


Faculty examiner: Associate Professor Christian Berger, Chalmers University of Technology.

Examining committee
PhD, Senior Principle Scientist, Elina Vartiainen, ABB Västerås Corporate Research;
Professor Dr Manh Tien Tran, Hochschule Kaiserslautern;  
Reserve; Associate Professor Jan Carlson, MDH.

Supervisors: Prof. Gordana Dodig Crnkovic, Dr. Rikard Lindell,  Prof. Joachim Wietzke (HS Karlsruhe)  

Vehicles have greatly changed over the last decades. Originally they were used as a means of transportation, and their drivers were solely engaged in the driving task. In modern cars the user, i.e. the former driver, has to interact with many different systems, which provide access to different domains of functionality, such as entertainment, comfort or safety related features. Advancements in technologies make possible coping with the increasing amount of features. Therefore the way of interaction with the vehicle improves in accordance with the system(s) progress. In the end, there is a single user that has to interact with all systems using the provided user interface in the car. Therefore manufacturers have to handle the complexity of those systems and to provide a consistent user experience and a homogeneous user interface to the user.

On the technology side, developers have to cope with rising complexity, dependencies and inter-connections of many different embedded systems in a car. The introduction of multi-core systems opened the way for new approaches. One is to composite multiple operating systems onto a single hardware platform by the use of hardware/software virtualization. Those Multi-OS environments combine abilities and characteristics of multiple operating systems, allowing e.g., to run a general purpose operating system (GPOS) for entertainment applications next to a real-time operating system (RTOS) for safety critical cluster applications. This reduces complexity, dependencies, and mitigates the risk of interferences between those applications. However, it also poses new challenges, such as the contradiction of separation and interconnections that are required to create a composited user-interface. 

In this thesis we investigate into the general problem of compositing heterogeneous systems. We analyse current approaches and explain the contradiction of separation and interconnections. Based on this we proposed several software architectures that can be used to build composited user interfaces for Multi-OS environments under consideration of the separation concepts and current input/output modalities. Furthermore we built a prototype to verify parts of our architecture and to improve the design/style process for composited user interfaces. Those are the first steps towards a Multi-OS architecture that provides a consistent user interface.

Tobias Holstein,