From Simulation to Statistical Analysis: Timeliness Assessment of Ethernet/IP-based Distributed Systems
Ref: HURRAY-TR-0416 Publication Date: 1, Apr, 2004
From Simulation to Statistical Analysis: Timeliness Assessment of Ethernet/IP-based Distributed SystemsRef: HURRAY-TR-0416 Publication Date: 1, Apr, 2004
A number of characteristics are boosting the eagerness of extending Ethernet to also cover factory-floor distributed real-time applications. Full-duplex links, non-blocking and priority-based switching, bandwidth availability, just to mention a few, are characteristics upon which that eagerness is building up. But, will Ethernet technologies really manage to replace traditional Fieldbus networks? Ethernet technology, by itself, does not include features above the lower layers of the OSI communication model. In the past few years, it is particularly significant the considerable amount of work that has been devoted to the timing analysis of Ethernet-based technologies. It happens, however, that the majority of those works are restricted to the analysis of sub-sets of the overall computing and communication system, thus without addressing timeliness at a holistic level.To this end, we are addressing a few inter-linked research topics with the purpose of setting a framework for the development of tools suitable to extract temporal properties of Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) Ethernetbased factory-floor distributed systems. Thisframework is being applied to a specific COTS technology, Ethernet/IP. In this paper, we reason about the modelling and simulation of Ethernet/IP-based systems, and on the use of statistical analysis techniques to provide usable results. Discrete event simulation models of a distributed system can be a powerful tool for the timeliness evaluation of the overall system, but particular care must be taken with the results provided by traditional statistical analysis techniques.