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A Product Family Approach to Graceful Degradation

By William Nace (3895762) and Philip Koopman (5358293)


Design of gracefully degrading systems, where functionality is gradually reduced in the face of faults, has traditionally been a very difficult and error-prone task. General approaches to graceful degradation are typically limited to re-implementation of the system for a number of pre-designated fallback configurations. We describe an architecture-based approach to gracefully degrading systems based upon Product Family Architectures (PFAs) combined with automatic reconfiguration. A PFA is a region of a system design space populated by different, but related, products sharing similar architectures and components. Each system instance within a PFA yields a distinct price/performance point, and represents a different model in the product family. The unifying mechanism that joins PFAs and gracefully degrading systems is automatic reconfiguration – in the face of a fault, the system reconfigures to a different PFA configuration point that optimizes the functionality available with the remaining resources. In this process, the system sheds some of the non-critical functions that make up such a large percentage of modern embedded systems. System designers can also exploit a reconfiguration mechanism to provide graceful upgrade and unique logistical benefits. The RoSES (Robust Self-configuring Embedded Systems) project employs such a reconfiguration approach, seeking to create a revolutionary means to build self-customizing, distributed, embedded control systems.</p

Topics: Computer Software not elsewhere classified, Software Research
Year: 2018
DOI identifier: 10.1184/r1/6620789.v1
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Provided by: KiltHub
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