Prototype of Fault Adaptive Embedded Software for Large-Scale Real-Time Systems

Derek Messie, Syracuse University
Mina Jung, Syracuse University
Jae C. Oh, Syracuse University
Shweta Shetty, Vanderbilt University
Steven Nordstrom, Vanderbilt University
Michael Haney, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2nd Workshop on Engineering of Autonomic Systems (EASe), in the 12th Annual IEEE International Conference and Workshop on the Engineering of Computer Based Systems (ECBS), Washington, DC, April, 2005

Description/Abstract

This paper describes a comprehensive prototype of large-scale fault adaptive embedded software developed for the proposed Fermilab BTeV high energy physics experiment. Lightweight self-optimizing agents embedded within Level 1 of the prototype are responsible for proactive and reactive monitoring and mitigation based on specified layers of competence. The agents are self-protecting, detecting cascading failures using a distributed approach. Adaptive, reconfigurable, and mobile objects for reliablility are designed to be self-configuring to adapt automatically to dynamically changing environments. These objects provide a self-healing layer with the ability to discover, diagnose, and react to discontinuities in real-time processing. A generic modeling environment was developed to facilitate design and implementation of hardware resource specifications, application data flow, and failure mitigation strategies. Level 1 of the planned BTeV trigger system alone will consist of 2500 DSPs, so the number of components and intractable fault scenarios involved make it impossible to design an `expert system' that applies traditional centralized mitigative strategies based on rules capturing every possible system state. Instead, a distributed reactive approach is implemented using the tools and methodologies developed by the Real-Time Embedded Systems group.