Section: Research Program

Previous Works

The challenges of team TEA support the claim that sound Cyber-Physical System design (including embedded, reactive, and concurrent systems altogether) should consider multi-form time models as a central aspect. In this aim, architectural specifications found in software engineering are a natural focal point to start from. Architecture descriptions organize a system model into manageable components, establish clear interfaces between them, collect domain-specific constraints and properties to help correct integration of components during system design. The definition of a formal design methodology to support heterogeneous or multi-form models of time in architecture descriptions demands the elaboration of sound mathematical foundations and the development of formal calculi and methods to instrument them. This constitutes the research program of team TEA.

System design based on the “synchronous paradigm” has focused the attention of many academic and industrial actors on abstracting non-functional implementation details from system design. This elegant design abstraction focuses on the logic of interaction in reactive programs rather than their timed behavior, allowing to secure functional correctness while remaining an intuitive programming model for embedded systems. Yet, it corresponds to embedded technologies of single cores and synchronous buses from the 90s, and may hardly cover the semantic diversity of distribution, parallelism, heterogeneity, of cyber-physical systems found in 21st century Internet-connected, true-timeTM-synchronized clouds, of tomorrow's grids.

By contrast with a synchronous hypothesis, yet from the same era, the polychronous MoCC is inherently capable of describing multi-clock abstractions of GALS systems. Polychrony is implemented in the data-flow specification language Signal, available in the Eclipse project POP (Polychrony on Polarsys, https://www.polarsys.org/projects/polarsys.pop) and in the CCSL standard (Clock Constraints in UML/MARTE CCSL. C. André, F. Mallet. RR-6540. Inria, 2008. http://hal.inria.fr/inria-00280941) available from the TimeSquare project. Both provide tooled infrastructures to refine high-level specifications into real-time streaming applications or locally synchronous and globally asynchronous systems, through a series of model analysis, verification, and synthesis services. These tool-supported refinement and transformation techniques can assist the system engineer from the earliest design stages of requirement specification to the latest stages of synthesis, scheduling and deployment. These characteristics make polychrony much closer to the required semantic for compositional, refinement-based, architecture-driven, system design.

While polychrony was a step ahead of the traditional synchronous hypothesis, CCSL is a leap forward from synchrony and polychrony. The essence of CCSL is “multi-form time” toward addressing all of the domain-specific physical, electronic and logical aspects of cyber-physical system design.