Journal article Open Access

Computing Safe Contention Bounds for Multicore Resources with Round-Robin and FIFO Arbitration

Fernandez, Gabriel; Jalle, Javier; Abella, Jaume; Quinones, Eduardo; Vardanega, Tullio; Cazorla, Francisco J.

Numerous researchers have studied the contention that arises among tasks running in parallel on a multicore processor. Most of those studies seek to derive a tight and sound upper-bound for the worst-case delay with which a processor resource may serve an incoming request, when its access is arbitrated using time-predictable policies such as round-robin or FIFO. We call this value upper-bound delay (ubd). Deriving trustworthy ubd statically is possible when sufficient public information exists on the timing latency incurred on access to the resource of interest. Unfortunately however, that is rarely granted for commercial-of-the-shelf (COTS) processors. Therefore, the users resort to measurement observations on the target processor and thus compute a “measured” ubdm. However, using ubdm to compute worst-case execution time values for programs running on COTS multicore processors requires qualification on the soundness of the result. In this paper, we present a measurementbased methodology to derive a ubdm under round-robin (RoRo) and first-in-first-out (FIFO) arbitration, which accurately approximates ubd from above, without needing latency information from the hardware provider. Experimental results, obtained on multiple processor configurations, demonstrate the robustness of the proposed methodology.

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