Automated Meta-Control for Adaptable Real-Time Software

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The software meta-controller is an online agent responsible for dynamically adapting an application's software configuration, e.g. altering operational modes and migrating tasks, to best accommodate varying runtime circumstances. In distributed real-time applications such adaptations must be carried out in a manner which maintains the schedulability of all critical tasks while maximizing some notion of system value for all other tasks. For large-scale real-time applications, considering all possible adaptations at the task-level is computationally intractable. This paper presents an automated aggregate approach to software meta-control, appropriate for large-scale distributed real-time systems. The aggregate automated meta-control problem is still NP-hard, but it has very practical approximate solutions. Introduced, here, are two very-effective approximation algorithms, QDP and G2, with very reasonable polynomial time complexity. Both algorithms also provide us with upper bounds for optimum system values, useful for deriving absolute, albeit somewhat pessimistic, measures of actual performance. Extensive Monte Carlo analysis is used to illustrate that expected performance for both algorithms is generally suboptimal by no more than a few percent. Our flexible software meta-control model is also shown to be readily applied to a wide range of time-sensitive applications.

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