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developerWorks: Real-time Resource Management

Jan 20, 2006, 10:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Sam Siewert)


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"A real-time system must provide a response to a request within a specified period of time. Most often, requests are recurring, with requests made on a periodic basis for a common set of services. Real-time systems provide these periodic services, which produce output upon request to control systems. Examples might include a digital control for an antilock braking system, a digital autopilot to maintain steady, level flight for an aircraft, or video stream compression and decompression.

"For systems where requests are not periodic, the system can be analyzed to determine a worst-case interarrival rate for service requests. For example, in a fault-handling system, an upper bound on the fault rate that the system can handle can and should be established. In normal operation, the fault rate might be zero, but the assumption of a maximum rate ensures that computing resources are held in reserve..."

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