Intercluster activity: Design for Predictability and Performance

Industrial Sectors Impacted

Predictability is an important system requirement in all sectors of embedded systems, whose operation should not fail for different reasons. An obvious sector is that of safety-critical systems, which arise in transportation, power automation, medical systems, and related areas. The market for safety-critical embedded systems is large and steadily increasing. According to a study by the international ARC Advisory Group with headquarters based in Dedham, Massachusetts, the safety systems and critical control system market, which was around $650 million in 2003, will grow at an average annual rate of over 7 percent per year to over $900 million in 2008. ARC’s Safety and Critical Control System Worldwide Outlook Market Analysis and Forecast Through 2008 predicts a healthy growth of the safety system market for process industries over the next five years.

The industry developing safety-critical embedded systems is severely suffering from design practices leading to unpredictable system behaviour. The determination of guarantees for non-functional requirements is postponed to a late design stage, and then often fails because of design decisions taken earlier. Establishing a methodology reconciling predictability and efficiency will have a very strong impact on systems-design and implementation practice in industry.

Predictability is important also in other sectors, where systems failure may lead to economic consequences, as in consumer electronics, telecom, etc.

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