Real-Time in Sweden (RTiS) 2007

RTiS 2007 just took place in Västerås, Sweden. It is a biannual event where Swedish real-time research (and that really means embedded in general these days) presents new results and summarizes results from the past two years. For someone who has worked in the field for ten years, it really feels like a gathering of friends and old acquaintances. And always some fresh new faces. Due to a scheduling conflict, I was only able to make it to day one of two.

I presented a short summary of a paper I and a colleague at Virtutech wrote last year together with Ericsson and TietoEnator, on the Simics-based simulator for the Ericsson CPP system (see the publications page for 2006 and soon for 2007). I also presented the Simics tool and demoed it in the demo session. Overall, nice to be talking to the mixed academic-industrial audience.

The papers presented really indicate current trends in embedded and real-time systems development. Focus is on topics like model-driven architecture and component-based software development, and on how to make these abstract ways to develop code create code that can actually run well on resource-limited processors. Which leads into scheduling analysis and the analysis of properties of collections of objects from the properties of the component objects. For example, what is the worst-case execution time of a certain piece of software, given the context of a particular system configuration. The industry cases gravitated towards the automotive domain, which is not surprising considering the make-up of Swedish industry. Mobile phones were notably absent, but they are not very real-time systems anyway.

The keynotes by Edward Lee in Berkeley (on his ideas for programming parallel processor machines) and by Erik Hagersten (on why multicore is different from multiprocessors) were well-received and well-presented. Nothing particularly new, but nice overviews but good speakers. I really like the ideas of Lee on how to program parallel machines using sequential programs coordinated by a higher-level coordination layer. It is a nice way to separate concerns.

Overall, I appreciate the effort of the organizers and really regret that I could stay for the conference dinner.

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