TickTalk -- Timing API for Dynamically Federated Cyber-Physical Systems

Bob Iannucci, Aviral Shrivastava, Mohammad Khayatian

Although timing and synchronization of a dynamically-changing set of elements and their related power considerations are essential to many cyber-physical systems (CPS), they are absent from today's programming languages, forcing programmers to handle these matters outside of the language and on a case-by-case basis. This paper proposes a framework for adding time-related concepts to languages. Complementing prior work in this area, this paper develops the notion of dynamically federated islands of variable-precision synchronization and coordinated entities through synergistic activities at the language, system, network, and device levels. At the language level, we explore constructs that capture key timing and synchronization concepts and, at the system level, we propose a flexible intermediate language that represents both program logic and timing constraints together with run-time mechanisms. At the network level, we argue for architectural extensions that permit the network to act as a combined computing, communication, storage, and synchronization platform and at the device level, we explore architectural concepts that can lead to greater interoperability, easy establishment of timing constraints, and more power-efficient designs.

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