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Static Execution Time Analysis of Parallel Systems

Research group:

Publication Type:

Doctoral Thesis


The past trend of increasing processor throughput by increasing the clock frequency and the instruction level parallelism is no longer feasible due to extensive power consumption and heat dissipation. Therefore, the current trend in computer hardware design is to expose explicit parallelism to the software level. This is most often done using multiple, relatively slow and simple, processing cores situated on a single processor chip. The cores usually share some resources on the chip, such as some level of cache memory (which means that they also share the interconnect, e.g., a bus, to that memory and also all higher levels of memory). To fully exploit this type of parallel processor chip, programs running on it will have to be concurrent. Since multi-core processors are the new standard, even embedded real-time systems will (and some already do) incorporate this kind of processor and concurrent code. A real-time system is any system whose correctness is dependent both on its functional and temporal behavior. For some real-time systems, a failure to meet the temporal requirements can have catastrophic consequences. Therefore, it is crucial that methods to derive safe estimations on the timing properties of parallel computer systems are developed, if at all possible. This thesis presents a method to derive safe (lower and upper) bounds on the execution time of a given parallel system, thus showing that such methods must exist. The interface to the method is a small concurrent programming language, based on communicating and synchronizing threads, that is formally (syntactically and semantically) defined in the thesis. The method is based on abstract execution, which is itself based on abstract interpretation techniques that have been commonly used within the field of timing analysis of single-core computer systems, to derive safe timing bounds in an efficient (although, over-approximative) way. The thesis also proves the soundness of the presented method (i.e., that the estimated timing bounds are indeed safe) and evaluates a prototype implementation of it.


author = {Andreas Gustavsson},
title = {Static Execution Time Analysis of Parallel Systems},
isbn = {978-91-7485-260-8},
month = {May},
year = {2016},
school = {M{\\"{a}}lardalen University},
url = {}