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Horst F. Wedde und Jon A. Lind
Building Large, Complex, Distributed Safety-Critical Operating Systems
Real-Time Systems, Special Issue on Safety-Critical Real-Time Systems, Hrsg.: Bernd J. Krämer und Norbert Völker, Nr. 13 (3), Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1997


Safety-critical systems typically operate in unpredictable environments. Requirements for safety and reliability are in conflict with those for real-time responsiveness. Due to unpredictable environmental needs there is no static trade-off between measures to accommodate the conflicting objectives. Instead every feature or operating system service has to be adaptive. Finally, for any design problem, there cannot be any closed-form (formal) approach taking care at the same time of (external) time constraints or deadlines, and the synchronization requirements in the distributed design. The reason is that these two aspects are causally independent. In this situation we worked out a heuristic experimental, performance-driven and performance-based methodology that allows in an educated way to start with a coarse system model, with accurate logical expectations regarding its behavior. Through experiments these expectations are validated. If they are found to successfully stand the tests extended expectations and model features are generated for refining the previous design as well as its performance criteria. The refinement is done in such a way that the previous experimental configurations are extreme model cases or data profiles which both logically and experimentally are to reproduce the behavior of the previous modeling step. Thus the novel performance aspects or tendencies could then unambiguously be attributed to the influences of the refined model features. We termed this methodology Incremental Experimentation. As a general methodology it relies on a principle of comparative performance studies rather than on realistic data for narrow application ranges.