LfD Logo

2021-12-21 PhD Defense: Ralf Ramsauer - OSS Architecture for Mixed-Criticality Systems: A Dual View from a Software and System Engineering Perspective
Ralf Ramsauer successfully defends his PhD Thesis OSS Architecture for Mixed-Criticality Systems: A Dual View from a Software and System Engineering Perspective. Congrats, Ralf!

Abstract: Computer-based automation in industrial appliances led to a growing number of logically dependent, but physically separated embedded control units per appliance. Many of those components are safety-critical systems, and require adherence to safety standards, which is inconsonant with the relentless demand for features in those appliances. Features lead to a growing amount of control units per appliance, and to a increasing complexity of the overall software stack, being unfavourable for safety certifications. Modern CPUs provide means to revise traditional separa- tion of concerns design primitives: the consolidation of systems, which yields new engineering challenges that concern the entire software and system stack.

Multi-core CPUs favour economic consolidation of formerly separated systems with one efficient single hardware unit. Nonetheless, the system architecture must provide means to guarantee the freedom from interference between domains of different criticality. System consolidation demands for architectural and engineering strategies to fulfil requirements (e.g., real-time or certifiability criteria) in safety-critical environments.

In parallel, there is an ongoing trend to substitute ordinary proprietary base platform software components by mature OSS variants for economic and engineering reasons. There are funda- mental differences of processual properties in development processes of OSS and proprietary software. OSS in safety-critical systems requires development process assessment techniques to build an evidence-based fundament for certification efforts that is based upon empirical software engineering methods.

In this thesis, I will approach from both sides: the software and system engineering perspective. In the first part of this thesis, I focus on the assessment of OSS components: I develop software engineering techniques that allow to quantify characteristics of distributed OSS development processes. I show that ex-post analyses of software development processes can be used to serve as a foundation for certification efforts, as it is required for safety-critical systems.

In the second part of this thesis, I present a system architecture based on OSS components that allows for consolidation of mixed-criticality systems on a single platform. Therefore, I exploit virtualisation extensions of modern CPUs to strictly isolate domains of different criticality. The proposed architecture shall eradicate any remaining hypervisor activity in order to preserve real- time capabilities of the hardware by design, while guaranteeing strict isolation across domains.

2018-01-01 Dissertation Award for Mitchell Joblin

Mitchell Joblin received the dissertation award 2018 from the Univerity of Passau for his dissertation: "Structural and Evolutionary Analysis of Developer Networks"

For more information on the award visit https://www.uni-passau.de/forschung/wissenschaftspreise/dissertationspreise/.

2017-05-11 PhD Defense: Mitchell Joblin - Structural and Evolutionary Analysis of Developer Networks