Patterns for dependable and distributed embedded control

Huijgen, Mark (2005) Patterns for dependable and distributed embedded control.

Abstract:The laboratory of Control Engineering of the University of Twente does research in the fields of embedded systems, mechatronics and robotics. One of the research projects is called Design Tools. This project focuses on the creation of a design tool called gCSP to facilitate the development of high reliable software for heterogeneous real-time control systems in a short time at a fraction of the present day costs. Key factors in this project are the safety and reliability of the designed software. The tool models software according to CSP, Communicating Sequential Processes. This is a process algebra that provides an easy way to reason about concurrent software without having to worry about multithreading, locking etc. The CT library (Communicating Threads) provides a framework on which these CSP programs can execute. Current work is on a C++ version called CTC++. The aim of this MSc project is to create a set of CSP-compliant software design patterns that increase the safety and/or reliability of the software they are applied to. The patterns have to be implemented in the CTC++ library. To accomplish this goal three generally well known design patterns have been investigated and implemented, namely Logging and Monitoring, N-Way programming and Watchdogs. Although CSP/CT programs can be transparently distributed, there are some difficulties in synchronously stopping distributed processes. A design pattern was created that specifically targets this problem. The implemented patterns are demonstrated on the existing Tripod robotic setup. This setup consists of a platform connected via three arms to three linear motors. Safety and reliability of control software on such a setup are crucial factors. The gCSP tool has support for applying the patterns to software models, facilitating easy use of them. Furthermore this project has made contributions to the CTC++ library with bug fixes and code cleanups and to the gCSP tool with bug reports and suggestions for improvements. This project provides a starting point for distributed control on the Tripod setup by providing a distributed synchronized stop pattern and the new CSP/CT control software which is easier to make distributed then the old agent version. Finally this project presents some suggestions to further improve the implemented design patterns.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:53 electrotechnology
Programme:Electrical Engineering MSc (60353)
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