Date of Original Version

2003

Type

Working Paper

Rights Management

All Rights Reserved

Abstract or Description

We present a framework that will enable scalable analysis and design of graceful degradation in distributed embedded systems. We define graceful degradation in terms of utility. A system that gracefully degrades suffers a proportional loss of system utility as individual software and hardware components fail. However, explicitly designing a system to gracefully degrade; i.e. handle all possible combinations of component failures, becomes impractical for systems with more than a few components. We avoid this exponential complexity of component combinations by exploiting the structure of the system architecture to partition components into subsystems. We view each subsystem as a configuration of components that changes when components are removed or added. Thus, a subsystem's utility changes when components fail or are repaired. We then view the system as a composition of subsystems that each contribute to overall system utility. We demonstrate the scalability of our framework by applying it to an example automobile navigation system. Using this framework, we aim to improve system dependability by identifying architectural properties that enhance a system's ability to gracefully degrade.

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