Using a Model Checker to Determine Worst-Case Execution Time

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Executive Summary

Hard real-time systems use Worst-Case Execution Time (WCET) estimates to ensure that timing requirements are met. The typical approach for obtaining WCET estimates is to employ static program analysis methods. While these approaches provide WCET bounds, they struggle to analyze programs with loops whose iteration counts depend on input data. Such programs mandate user-guided annotations. The authors propose a hybrid approach by augmenting static program analysis with model-checking to analyze such programs and derive the loop bounds automatically. In addition, they use model-checking to guarantee repeatable timing behaviors from segments of program code. The target platform is a precision timed architecture: a SPARC-based architecture promising predictable and repeatable timing behaviors.

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