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Fitting Software Execution-Time Exceedance into a Residual Random Fault in ISO-26262

Irune Agirre, Francisco J. Cazorla, Jaume Abella, Carles Hernandez, Enrico Mezzetti, Mikel Azkarate-askatsua, Tullio Vardanega

IEEE Transactions on Reliability


Car manufacturers relentlessly replace or augment the functionality of mechanical subsystems with electronic components. Most such subsystems (e.g., steer-by-wire) are safety related, hence, subject to regulation. ISO-26262, the dominant standard for road vehicles, regards software faults as systematic , while differentiating hardware faults between systematic and random . The analysis of systematic faults entails rigorous processes and qualitative considerations. The increasing complexity of modern on-board computers, however, questions the very notion of treating the violation of execution-time envelopes for software programs as a systematic fault. Modern hardware in fact reduces the user's ability to delve deep enough into the fabric of hardware–software interaction to gage its extent of contribution to the worst-case execution time (WCET). Changing the nature of the WCET-analysis problem may help address that challenge effectively. To this end, we propose a solution that should allow ISO-26262 to quantify the likelihood of execution-time exceedance events, relating it to target failure metrics employed in support of certification arguments, similarly to random faults in hardware. To this end, we inject randomization in the timing behavior of the computer hardware to relieve the user from the need to control hard-to-reach low-level parts, and use measurement-based probabilistic timing analysis to quantify, constructively, the failure rates resulting from the likelihood of execution-time exceedance events.

DOI / link: https://doi.org/10.1109/TR.2018.2828222

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