An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure: Towards Physically-Correct Specifications of Embedded Real-Time Systems
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Citation (published version)Bestavros, Azer. "Towards Physically-Correct Specifications of Embedded Real-Time Systems”, Technical Report BUCS-1994-008, Computer Science Department, Boston University, May 1994. [Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/2144/1488]
Predictability — the ability to foretell that an implementation will not violate a set of specified reliability and timeliness requirements - is a crucial, highly desirable property of responsive embedded systems. This paper overviews a development methodology for responsive systems, which enhances predictability by eliminating potential hazards resulting from physically-unsound specifications. The backbone of our methodology is a formalism that restricts expressiveness in a way that allows the specification of only reactive, spontaneous, and causal computation. Unrealistic systems — possessing properties such as clairvoyance, caprice, infinite capacity, or perfect timing — cannot even be specified. We argue that this "ounce of prevention" at the specification level is likely to spare a lot of time and energy in the development cycle of responsive systems - not to mention the elimination of potential hazards that would have gone, otherwise, unnoticed.