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Architectural Decisions for HW/SW Partitioning Based on Multiple Extra-Functional Properties
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Embedded Systems.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6954-8339
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Embedded Systems.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5278-755X
Universita’ degli Studi di Bergamo Dalmine, Italy.
2014 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Growing advances in hardware technologies are enabling significant improvements in application performance by the deployment of components to dedicated executable units. This is particularly valid for Cyber Physical Systems in which the applications are partitioned in HW and SW execution units. The growing complexity of such systems, and increasing requirements, both project- and product-related, makes the partitioning decision process complex. Although different approaches to this decision process have been proposed during recent decades, they lack the ability to provide relevant decisions based on a larger number of requirements and project/business constraints. A sound approach to this problem is taking into account all relevant requirements and constraints and their relations to the properties of the components deployed either as HW or SW units. A typical approach for managing a large number of criteria is a multicriteria decision analysis. This, in its turn, requires uniform definitions of component properties and their realization in respect to their HW/SW deployment. The aim of this paper is twofold: a) to provide an architectural metamodel of component-based applications with specifications of their properties with respect to their partitioning, and b) to categorize component properties in relation to HW/SW deployment. The metamodel enables the transition of system requirements to system and component properties. The categorization provides support for architectural decisions. It is demonstrated through a property guideline for the partitioning of the System Automation and Control domain. The guideline is based on interviews with practitioners and researchers, the experts in this domain.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. 175-184 p.
National Category
Engineering and Technology Other Engineering and Technologies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-24957DOI: 10.1109/WICSA.2014.19Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84903702504ISBN: 978-1-4799-3412-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-24957DiVA: diva2:715814
Conference
11th Working IEEE/IFIP Conference on Software Architecture (WICSA 2014), Sydney, Australia, April 7-11, 2014
Projects
ITS-EASY
Available from: 2014-05-06 Created: 2014-05-06 Last updated: 2016-09-22Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Multiple Property-based Partitioning for Embedded Applications
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Multiple Property-based Partitioning for Embedded Applications
2014 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The new development of different types of computation units, such as FPGAs and multicore CPUs, enables a tremendous improvement in performance of applications that utilize the dedicated types of computations. For complex applications this however introduces a new challenge - what is the optimal deployment configuration of their components?

Today the application deployment is based on ad-hoc architectural decisions taken in an early design phase, when many design details are unknown, and as a consequence they often change in a later phase, increasing so the development costs. In addition, the decisions are taken based on a limited number of requirements, mostly related to runtime properties such as performance, resource utilization and power consumption, but do not consider many other aspects related to lifecycle properties, or to the project constraints. This approach increases the risk that a decision has a negative impact on a runtime or a lifecycle system property and may lead to the mentioned changes. This thesis addresses the problem of optimal hardware/software deployment of an application. The main objective is to define a process in which the deployment decisions are taken in a systematic way in a later phase of the design process, and the partition decision process takes into account all artifacts on which the decisions have direct impact. These artifacts include the application’s runtime properties, the properties related to the application lifecycle, the business goals, and the development project constraints. To achieve this objective we have a) defined a development process model that addresses the deployment explicitly in the late design phase, b) designed a metamodel of component-based applications deployed as hardware or software executable units, and c) analyzed the suitability of Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis methods for providing partitioning decisions based on a large number of criteria. In addition we have analysed which properties are affected by the partitioning decisions in the Control and Automation domains. The feasibility of the proposed process is demonstrated throughout an industrial case study.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalens Högskola, 2014
Series
Mälardalen University Press Licentiate Theses, ISSN 1651-9256 ; 176
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-24962 (URN)978-91-7485-150-2 (ISBN)
Presentation
2014-06-10, Gamma, Högskoleplan 1, Västerås, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-05-08 Created: 2014-05-06 Last updated: 2015-11-13Bibliographically approved
2. Hardware/Software Partitioning Methodology for Embedded Applications using Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Hardware/Software Partitioning Methodology for Embedded Applications using Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The new hardware technologies enable execution of embedded systems applications on heterogeneous execution platforms. These platforms consist of different execution processing units, for example of CPUs, and FPGAs, that enable the application execution of software (SW) components, typically implemented as C/C++ code, and hardware (HW) components, implemented as VHDL code. This heterogeneity enables building dedicated components which can significantly improve the application performance. This, however, requires decisions on which components will be implemented as SW and which as HW execution units. This decision process in known as HW/SW partitioning, and is a subject of research of more than 20 years. Typical goals of this research was to find the optimal partitioning with respect to the system performance, and possibly a couple of other properties such as power consumption, or resource utilization (e.g. related to CPU memory footprint and FPGA area). However, by significant increase in complexity of the applications, and inclusion of different requirements, the partitioning decisions become more complex, as well as the entire development process with an integrated partitioning decision process. Today there is a lack of a systematic approach for partitioning complex applications. This thesis addresses this challenge. The main objective of the thesis is to design and build a systematic partitioning decision process that includes many requirements of different types. The thesis describes a new method MULTIPAR that includes the partitioning decision process for component-based embedded systems. The method is based on model-based engineering principles; components are analysed as models which can be implemented either as a SW or HW components, and the implementation itself is performed at a late stage of the development process. The partition is based on the optimisation of the application’s and components’ extra-functional properties (EFPs) that are derived from the requirements and project constraints. For the optimization a Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) method is used. As a part of the main contribution, the thesis includes several independent contributions that are of a more general character: a) modeling principles for component-based applications which consists of SW and HW components, and a component can be implemented as SW or/and HW code; b) a classification and analysis of EFPs in respect to the dependency on their HW or SW implementation; c) composition rules for some of EFPs for SW and HW components; d) suitability and limitations of MCDA methods in their usage for the partitioning decisions. MULTIPAR is also implemented in a form of a tool that enables a selection of components and analysis of the system in respect to the selected EFPs. The feasibility of MULTIPAR was validated through two industrial cases. The thesis is organized in two parts; the first part includes an introduction summarizing the overall work and discussing the research approach, and the second part collect the most relevant papers published in different venues.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University, 2016
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 210
National Category
Embedded Systems
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-33210 (URN)978-91-7485-284-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-11-04, Lambda, Mälardalens högskola, Västerås, 09:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-09-23 Created: 2016-09-22 Last updated: 2016-09-23Bibliographically approved

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