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In many real-time systems, tasks interact with external devices that introduce self-suspension delays. Examples of such devices include solid-state and magnetic disks and network cards. Delays introduced by such devices can be moderate unfortunately, such delays quite negatively impact schedulability in real-time systems if deadline misses cannot be tolerated. In this paper, the authors consider whether, on multiprocessor platforms, such negative impacts can be ameliorated if task deadlines are soft. Their focus on multiprocessors is motivated by the advent of multi-core platforms. There is currently great interest in providing operating-system support to enable real-time workloads to be hosted on such platforms.
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