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Process Resurrection: A Fast Recovery Mechanism for Real-Time Embedded Systems

Kihwal Lee and Lui Sha

Presented at IEEE Real-Time and Embedded Technology and Applications Symposium (RTAS 2005), San Francisco, California, March 7 - 10, 2005


This paper describes a fast recovery mechanism that meets the unique requirements of embedded real-time systems. In general purpose computing, restart is an established technology for achieving high availability. Restart has also been used in soft real-time systems where the temporary interruption of service is undesirable but acceptable. However, it has not been widely used in small embedded real-time systems with hard deadlines, mainly because the traditional approaches do not meet their additional requirements: low memory and processor overhead, and fast response times with little variations. We have developed Process Resurrection, a novel restart mechanism for recovering from crash failures to meet these requirements. The experiments on an inverted pendulum control system shows that it can recover the control process in time after a crash (eg. segmentation fault). Another experiment conducted on an MP3 audio player shows that this technique is also applicable to some multimedia applications.

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