Author's School

School of Engineering & Applied Science

Author's Department/Program

Computer Science and Engineering


English (en)

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Chair and Committee

Christopher Gill


Time utility functions offer a reasonably general way to describe the complex timing constraints of real-time and cyber-physical systems. However, utility-aware scheduling policy design is an open research problem. In particular, scheduling policies that optimize expected utility accrual are needed for real-time and cyber-physical domains. This dissertation addresses the problem of utility-aware scheduling for systems with periodic real-time task sets and stochastic non-preemptive execution intervals. We model these systems as Markov Decision Processes. This model provides an evaluation framework by which different scheduling policies can be compared. By solving the Markov Decision Process we can derive value-optimal scheduling policies for moderate sized problems. However, the time and memory complexity of computing and storing value-optimal scheduling policies also necessitates the exploration of other more scalable solutions. We consider heuristic schedulers, including a generalization we have developed for the existing Utility Accrual Packet Scheduling Algorithm. We compare several heuristics under soft and hard real-time conditions, different load conditions, and different classes of time utility functions. Based on these evaluations we present guidelines for which heuristics are best suited to particular scheduling criteria. Finally, we address the memory complexity of value-optimal scheduling, and examine trade-offs between optimality and memory complexity. We show that it is possible to derive good low complexity scheduling decision functions based on a synthesis of heuristics and reduced-memory approximations of the value-optimal scheduling policy.



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