Interface Module Specifications for Real-time Systems

Yingzi Wang,
Dr. Dennis K. Peters


Documentation plays a key role as a component of design process, and a preview of a task before it comes to be executed. A well-specified task might not take less implementation time than one without documents, but one of the obvious advantages is that misunderstandings are avoided and readable specification makes it easy for the successive developers to exploit or modify the software or hardware design. Such merit is particularly useful for aviation and military applications in which reliability and maintainability are very important aspects for judging the success of a project.

Interface Modules (IM) are modules that encapsulate input or output device hardware and the related software, so that the application software can be written without specific knowledge of the particular devices used. Replacing or modifying an interface device will only lead to changes in the IM, rather than changing the other modules in the whole system. In real-time and embedded systems, an IM will often relate real-valued external quantities (e.g., time, positions in space) with discrete valued software quantities. An IM specification must therefore use a combination of notations and formalisms. This paper presents a suitable method for IM specification that is both precise and readable.

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Last modified: Fri 2003.09.26 at 10:56 NDT by Dennis Peters