Safety & Security
As embedded computers become more ubiquitous, it is not uncommon that a single device contains several of them. For example, modern cars contain about 70 different computers and this high number starts becoming a problem. The solution could be the use of multi-core platforms, where a single multi-core CPU can efficiently run multiple applications in parallel. With multi-cores, the challenge is to ensure that applications of different criticality do not influence each other similarly as when they run on separate computers. It must be guaranteed that non-safety applications cannot negatively impact computations and timing of safety functionality. The predictable performance is required, and it can be achieved by introducing a modified (real-time) execution model and modified policy on access to critical shared resources (like memories, caches and on-chip buses). To achieve a reasonable level of safety, it is not sufficient to ensure predictable performance, but one must also make the system secure, i.e. resistant against malicious activities and attacks. We study interactions between safety and security techniques to find trade-offs and synergies between the, so far quite separate, worlds of safety and security.
Dependable Communication Protocols
Reliability and bounded latency are critical for distributed real-time control networks such as CAN bus. We improved Linux kernel CAN subsystem and made its performance analysis for a large automotive OEM. We also work in the area of CAN bus security extensions. Furthermore, the area of our interests includes the creation of efficient schedules for both deterministic time-triggered fieldbus protocols such as FlexRay and TTEthernet. We analyze latencies and resource allocation from low levels like PCIe transactions up to admission tests in communication middleware based on contemporary scheduling theory.
Industrial Wireless Sensor Networks
Cluster scheduling respecting collision avoidance is a crucial issue in large scale IEEE 802.15.4/ZigBee with cluster-tree topology. The problem becomes harder to solve when time-constrained data flows with opposite directions are considered with the objective of minimizing the energy consumption of the nodes. Our group deals not only with designing energy-efficient cluster scheduling algorithms but also developing new joining mechanism, that defines the form of the cluster-tree topology, guided by the scheduling problem. The new joining mechanism will represent a revolution in this area, and they could substitute the inefficient Distributed Address Assignment Mechanism (DAAM) suggested by ZigBee.