Real-Time and Embedded Systems


Our research interests are the systematic design and analysis of computers that are not primarily perceived as computers. This is one definition of embedded systems - which come in very diverse shapes, ranging from miniature hearing aids over Lego Mindstorms and cell phones, X-ray machines and electronically assisted braking systems to large fly-by-wire aircrafts. These systems typically not only have to deliver exact outputs to the environment but also on time - hence they are also considered real–time systems.

Our main research thrusts at present are:

  • Model based design and the visualization of complex reactive systems. A particular interest of ours is pragmatics-aware modeling, which emphasizes designer productivity in using visual and textual modeling languages. The KIELER (KIEL for the Eclipse Rich Client Platform) is a prototypal modelling environment for the experimental validation of novel model design and analysis methods.
  • Automatic graph drawing. One building block of pragmatics-aware modeling is the separation of model and view. This requires the capability to automatically synthesize customized model views that are taylored to different use cases.
  • Synchronous languages. This family of programming languages is suited particularly well for designing safety-critical real-time systems. One key advantage is their deterministic handling of reactive control flow, including concurrency and preemption. A particular interest of ours is the sequentially constructive model of computations, which brings together synchronous determinism with familiar programming liberties from C.