Книга: Real-Time Concepts for Embedded Systems

14.3.3 Some Guidelines

14.3.3 Some Guidelines

Guideline 1: Identify Device Dependencies

· Guideline 1a: Identify Active I/O Devices

· Guideline 1b: Identify Passive I/O Devices

Guideline 2: Identify Event Dependencies

Guideline 3: Identify Time Dependencies

· Guideline 3a: Identify Critical and Urgent Activities

· Guideline 3b: Identify Different Periodic Execution Rates

· Guideline 3c: Identify Temporal Cohesion

Guideline 4: Identify Computationally Bound Activities

Guideline 5: Identify Functional Cohesion

Guideline 6: Identify Tasks that Serve Specific Purposes

Guideline 7: Identify Sequential Cohesion

Guideline 1: Identify Device Dependencies

All real-time systems interface with the physical world through some devices, such as sensors, actuators, keyboards, or displays. An application can have a number of I/O devices interfacing to it. Not all devices, however, act as both input and output devices. Some devices can act just as inputs or just as outputs. Other devices can act as both. The discussions in this book refer to all of these devices as I/O devices.

The outside-in approach focuses on looking at the I/O devices in a system and assigning a task to each device. The basic concept is that unsynchronized devices need separate handling. For simple device interactions, processing within an ISR may suffice; however, for additional device processing, a separate task or set of tasks may be assigned. Both active and passive I/O devices should be considered for identifying potential areas of an application that can be decomposed into concurrent tasks.

As shown in Figure 14.4, hardware I/O devices can be categorized as two types:

· Active I/O devices

· Passive I/O devices


Figure 14.4: Some general properties of active and passive devices.

Active I/O devices generate interrupts to communicate with an application. These devices can generate interrupts in a periodic fashion or in synch with other active devices. These devices are referred to in this book as synchronous. Active devices can also generate interrupts aperiodically, or asynchronously, with respect to other devices. These devices are referred to in this book as asynchronous .

Passive I/O devices do not generate interrupts. Therefore, the application must initiate communications with a passive I/O device. Applications can communicate with passive devices in a periodic or aperiodic fashion.

Active devices generate interrupts whether they are sending input to or receiving output from the CPU. Active input devices send an interrupt to the CPU when the device has new input ready to be processed. The new input can be a large buffer of data, a small unit of data, or even no data at all. An example of the latter is a sensor that generates an interrupt every time it detects some event. On the other hand, an active output device sends an interrupt to the CPU when the device has finished delivering the previous output from the CPU to the physical world. This interrupt announces to the CPU and the application that the output device has completed the last request and is ready to handle the next request.

Passive input or output devices require the application to generate the necessary requests in order to interact with them. Passive input devices produce an input only when the application requests. The application can make these requests either periodically or aperiodically. In the case of the former, the application runs in a periodic loop and makes a request every time through the loop, called polling a device. For aperiodic requests, the application makes the request only when it needs the data, based on an event asynchronous to the application itself, such as an interrupt from another device or a message from another executing task.

Special care must be taken when polling a passive input device, especially when sampling a signal that has sharp valleys or peaks. If the polling frequency is too low, a chance exists that a valley or peak might be missed. If the polling frequency is too high, extra performance overhead might be incurred that uses unnecessary CPU cycles.

Guideline 1a: Identify Active Devices

Active input or output I/O devices use interrupts to communicate with real-time applications. Every time an active input device needs to send data or notification of an event to a real-time application, the device generates an interrupt. The interrupt triggers an ISR that executes the minimum code needed to handle the input. If a lot of processing is required, the ISR usually hands off the process to an associated task through an inter-task communication mechanism.

Similarly, active output devices also generate interrupts when they need to communicate with applications. However, interrupts from active output devices are generated when they are ready to receive the next piece of data or notification of some event from the application. The interrupts trigger the appropriate ISR that hands off the required processing to an associated task using an inter-task communication mechanism.

The diagram for both an active I/O device acting as an input or an output to an application and for a device generating interrupts in a synchronous or asynchronous manner is similar to the one illustrated in Figure 14.5.


Figure 14.5: General communication mechanisms for active I/O devices.

Some typical tasks that can result from identifying an active I/O device in a real-time application are listed in Table 14.1.

Table 14.1: Common tasks that interface with active I/O devices.

Task Type Description
Asynchronous Active Device I/O Task Assigned to active I/O devices that generate aperiodic interrupts or whose operation is asynchronous with respect to other I/O devices.
Synchronous Active Device I/O Task Assigned to active I/O devices that generate periodic interrupts or whose operation is synchronous with respect to other I/O devices.
Resource Control Device I/O Task Assigned for controlling the access to a shared I/O device or a group of devices.
Event Dispatch Device I/O Task Assigned for dispatching events to other tasks from one or more I/O devices.

Recommendation 1: Assign separate tasks for separate active asynchronous I/O devices. Active I/O devices that interact with real-time applications do so at their own rate. Each hardware device that uses interrupts to communicate with an application and whose operation is asynchronous with respect to other I/O devices should be considered to have their own separate tasks.

Recommendation 2: Combine tasks for I/O devices that generate infrequent interrupts having long deadlines. In the initial design, each active I/O device can have a separate task assigned to handle processing. Sometimes, however, combining the processing of two I/O devices into a single task makes sense. For example, if two I/O devices generate aperiodic or asynchronous interrupts infrequently and have relatively long deadlines, a single task might suffice.

Recommendation 3: Assign separate tasks to devices that have different input and output rates. Generally speaking, a task that handles a device with a high I/O frequency should have a higher task priority than a task that handles a device with a lower frequency. Higher I/O frequency implies shorter, allowable processing time. However, the importance of the I/O operation, and the consequences of delayed I/O, should be taken into account when assigning task priorities with respect to I/O frequency.

Recommendation 4: Assign higher priorities to tasks associated with interrupt-generating devices. A task that needs to interface with a particular I/O device must be set to a high-enough priority level so that the task can keep up with the device. This requirement exists because the task's execution speed is usually constrained by the speed of the interrupts that an associated I/O device generates and not necessarily the processor on which the application is running.

For I/O devices that generate periodic interrupts, the interrupt period dictates how long a task must handle processing. If the period is very short, tasks associated with these devices need to be set at high priorities.

For I/O devices that generate aperiodic interrupts, it can be difficult to predict how long an associated task will have to process the request before the next interrupt comes in. In some cases, interrupts can occur rapidly. In other cases, however, the interrupts can occur with longer time intervals between them. A rule of thumb is that these types of tasks need their priorities set high to ensure that all interrupt requests can be handled, including ones that occur within short time intervals. If an associated task's priority is set too low, the task might not be able to execute fast enough to meet the hardware device's needs.

Recommendation 5: Assign a resource control task for controlling access to I/O devices. Sometimes multiple tasks need to access a single hardware I/O device. In this case, the device can only serve one task at a time; otherwise, data may be lost or corrupted. An efficient approach is to assign a resource control task to that device (also known as a resource monitor task). This task can be used to receive multiple I/O requests from different tasks, so that the resource control task can send the I/O requests in a controlled and sequential manner to the I/O device.

This resource control task is not limited to working with just one I/O device. In some cases, one resource task can handle multiple requests that might need to be dispatched to one or more I/O devices.

Recommendation 6: Assign an event dispatch task for I/O device requests that need to be handed off to multiple tasks. Events or requests that come from an I/O device can be propagated across multiple tasks. A single task assigned as an event dispatch task can receive all requests from I/O devices and can dispatch them to the appropriate tasks accordingly.

Guideline 1b: Identify Passive Devices

Passive devices are different from active devices because passive devices do not generate interrupts. They sit passively until an application's task requests them to do something meaningful. Whether the request is for an input or an output, an application's task needs to initiate the event or data transfer sequence. The ways that tasks communicate with these devices is either by polling them in a periodic manner or by making a request whenever the task needs to perform input or output.

The diagram either for a passive I/O device acting as an input or an output to an application or for communicating with the application periodically or aperiodically is similar to the one illustrated in Figure 14.6.


Figure 14.6: General communication mechanisms for passive I/O devices.

Some typical tasks that can result from identifying a passive I/O device in a real-time application are listed in Table 14.2.

Table 14.2: Common tasks that interface with passive I/O devices.

Task Type Description
Aperiodic Passive Device I/O Task Assigned to passive I/O devices and issues requests to those devices on an as-needed basis.
Periodic Passive Device I/O Task Assigned to passive I/O devices and polls those devices in a periodic fashion.
Resource Control Device I/O Task Assigned for controlling the access to a shared hardware I/O device or a group of devices.
Event Dispatch Device I/O Task Assigned for dispatching events to other tasks from one or more I/O devices.

Recommendation 1: Assign a single task to interface with passive I/O devices when communication with such devices is aperiodic and when deadlines are not urgent. Some applications need to communicate with a passive I/O device aperiodically. This device might be a sensor or display. If the deadlines are relatively long, these requests for one or more passive I/O devices can be handled with one task.

Recommendation 2: Assign separate polling tasks to send periodic requests to passive I/O devices. Commonly, a real-time application might need to sample a signal or some data repeatedly from a passive I/O device. This process can be done effectively in a periodic polling loop. In order to avoid over-sampling or under-sampling the data, assign a separate task to each passive I/O device that needs to be polled at different rates.

Recommendation 3: Trigger polling requests via timer events. More than one way exists to perform timing-based polling loops. One common mistake is using a time delay within the loop that is equal to the period of the sampling rate. This method can be problematic because the loop won't take exactly the same amount of time to execute each time through-the loop is subject to interrupts and preemption from higher priority tasks. A better process is to use a timer to trigger an event after every cycle. A more accurate periodic rate can be maintained using this approach.

Recommendation 4: Assign a high relative priority to polling tasks with relatively short periods. Tasks that are set up to poll passive I/O devices for inputs may do so at different rates. If the period is very short, less time is available to process incoming data before the next cycle. In this case, these tasks with faster polling loops need to be set with higher priorities. Designers, however, need to remember that this process must be done carefully, as heavy polling can use extra CPU cycles and result in increased overhead.

Guideline 2: Identify Event Dependencies

Events in a real-time application can propagate across multiple tasks. Whether an event is generated externally from an I/O device or internally from within the application, a need exists for creating a task or a group of tasks that can properly handle the event as it is propagated through the application. Externally generated events are discussed in the pervious sections, so the focus here is on internally generated events. Examples of events that can be generated internally to an application include when error conditions arise or faults are detected. An event in this case is generated and propagated outward to an I/O device or an internal corrective action is taken.

Guideline 3: Identify Time Dependencies

Before designing a real-time application, take time to understand and itemize each of the timing deadlines required for the application. After the timing deadlines have been identified, separate tasks can be assigned to handle the separate deadlines. Task priorities can be assigned based on the criticality or urgency of each deadline.

Guideline 3a: Identify Critical and Urgent Activities

Note the difference between criticality and urgency. Critical tasks are tasks whose failure would be disastrous. The deadline might be long or short but must always be met, or else the system does not fulfill the specifications. An urgent task is a task whose timing deadline is relatively short. Meeting this deadline might or might not be critical. Both urgent and critical tasks are usually set to higher relative priorities.

Guideline 3b: Identify Different Periodic Execution Rates

Each rate-driven activity runs independently of any other rate. Periodic activities can be identified, and activities can be grouped into tasks with similar rates.

Guideline 3c: Identify Temporal Cohesion

Real-time systems may contain sequences of code that always execute at the same time, although they are functionally unrelated. Such sequences exhibit temporal cohesion. Examples are different activities driven by the same external stimulus (i.e., a timer). Grouping such sequences into one task reduces system overhead.

Guideline 4: Identify Computationally Bound Activities

Some activities in a real-time application require a lot of CPU time compared to the time required for other operations, such as performing I/O. These activities, known as computationally bound activities, can be number-crunching activities and typically have relatively long deadlines. These types of activities are usually set to lower relative priorities so that they do not monopolize the CPU. In some cases, these types of tasks can be time-sliced at a common priority level, where each gets time to execute when tasks that are more critical don't need to run.

Guideline 5: Identify Functional Cohesion

Functional cohesion requires collecting groups of functions or sequences of code that perform closely related activities into a single task. In addition, if two tasks are closely coupled (pass lots of data between each other), they should also be considered for combination into one task. Grouping these closely related or closely coupled activities into a singe task can help eliminate synchronization and communication overhead.

Guideline 6: Identify Tasks that Serve Specific Purposes

Tasks can also be grouped according to the specific purposes they serve. One example of a task serving a clear purpose is a safety task. Detection of possible problems, setting alarms, and sending notifications to the user, as well as setting up and executing corrective measures, are just some examples that can be coordinated in a safety task or group of tasks. Other tasks can also exist in a real-time system that can serve a specific purpose.

Guideline 7: Identify Sequential Cohesion

Sequential cohesion groups activities that must occur in a given sequence into one task to further emphasize the requirement for sequential operation. A typical example is a sequence of computations that must be carried out in a predefined order. For example, the result of the first computation provides input to the next computation and so on.

Оглавление книги


Генерация: 1.210. Запросов К БД/Cache: 3 / 1
поделиться
Вверх Вниз