Trade-off analysis of real-time control performance and schedulability

Danbing Seto, John P. Lehoczky, Lui Sha, Kang G. Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Most real-time computer-controlled systems are developed in two separate stages: controller design followed by its digital implementation. Computational tasks that implement the control algorithms are usually scheduled by treating their execution times and periods as unchangeable parameters. Task schedulability therefore depends only on the limited computing resources available. On the other hand, controller design is primarily based on the continuous-time dynamics of the physical system being controlled. The set of tasks resulting from this controller design may not be schedulable with the limited computing resources available. Even if the given set of tasks is schedulable, their overall performance may not be optimal in the sense that they do not make a full use of the computing resources. In this paper, we propose an integrated approach to controller design and task scheduling. Specifically, task frequencies (or periods) are allowed to vary within a certain range as long as such changes do not affect critical control functions such as the maintenance of system stability. We present an algorithm that determines the task frequencies such that a prescribed aspect of system performance is optimized subject to satisfaction of computing resource constraints. The tasks are then scheduled with the chosen frequencies. The proposed approach also addresses the issue of choosing controller processors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-217
Number of pages19
JournalReal-Time Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2001


  • Real-time control
  • Resource management
  • Task schedulability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Control and Optimization
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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