University of Twente Student Theses


Communication Component for Multiplatform Distribution of Control Algorithms

Kempenaar, J.J. (2014) Communication Component for Multiplatform Distribution of Control Algorithms.

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Abstract:These days cyber-physical systems play an important part in life. Cyber-physical systems refer to systems with a physical/mechanical part, controlled by a cyber platform. Due to the increasing demand in functionality, their designs become more complex. In this thesis the focus is on the cyber part of the cyber-physical systems. As a result of the increasing complexity in the software algorithms of the cyber system, the requirements for the computational platform increase. Embedded computers, mostly used for the control of cyber physical systems, do not satisfy the resource requirements of these complex algorithms. To deal with this, the complex algorithms are distributed among multiple platforms, each designed for a specific purpose. Embedded computers take care of simple, high-frequency, hard real-time loop control algorithms, while more advanced computers are used for the execution of the more complex, low-frequency, supervisory control algorithms. Tools exist to aid in the development of the algorithms. There is no single tool that meets the requirements to develop all algorithms. Therefore, many tools are used. Via code-generation toolboxes, the tools produce implementations for the various algorithms that can be deployed on different platforms. Several deployment tools exist for this purpose. The problem is that the current deployment tools do not offer a way to connect the algorithm applications on the various platforms to communicate with each other. This causes developers to not use the tools, but come up with their own solutions. This does not always result in optimal deployment situations. A Communication Component is designed and implemented in this thesis to allowthe complex low frequency algorithms, to provide their data to the real-time control platforms. The Communication Component consists of a server application on each device, that connects with the server application of the Communication Component on other devices. For the algorithm it offers an Application Pogramming Interface (API) to connect and communicate with the other algorithms via the Communication Component. A platformanalysis and use case analysis are performed to draft requirements for the Communication Component. Based on these requirements a design is made and implemented. Ethernet is used for the network communication. Using Inter Process Communication (IPC), algorithms on different platforms are capable of connecting to the Communication Component. The use case, used for the requirement analysis, is used as a basis, for a demonstrator experiment to verify the working of the Communication Component. The Gumstix Overo Fire is used as the computing platformin the experiment. This computing platformis currently developed as the standard embedded computing platformfor setups within the Robotics andMechatronics (RaM) group. From the results of the experiment it can be concluded that the Communication Component is capable of connecting the various platforms and provide a means for complex algorithms to send their data to the real-time control platform. The Gumstix Overo Fire is not yet supported by the 20-sim 4C deployment tool. To ease the deployment process, it is recommended that platform support for the Gumstix Overo Fire is added to 20-sim 4C. Other software frameworks like OROCOS provide building blocks for developing complex sequence and supervisory control algorithms. Adding integration capability of these frameworks with the Communication Component is also recommended as it can aid in the development process.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:53 electrotechnology
Programme:Electrical Engineering MSc (60353)
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