Marco Panunzio
Department of Pure and Applied Mathematics, University of Padua
via Trieste 63
35121 Padova

Bounding the Effects of Resource Access Protocols on Cache Behavior

Enrico Mezzetti, Marco Panunzio and Tullio Vardanega

10th International Workshop on Worst-Case Execution-Time Analysis


The assumption of task independence has long been consubstantial with the formulation of many schedulability analysis techniques. That assumption is evidently advantageous for the mathematical formulation of the analysis equations, but ill fit to capture the actual behavior of the system. Resource sharing is one of the system design dimensions that break the assumption of task independence. By shaking the very foundations of the real-time analysis theory, the advent of multicore systems has caused resurgence of interest in resource sharing and synchronization protocols, and also dawned the fact that the assumption of task independence may be forever broken. Research in cache-aware schedulability analysis instead has paid very little attention to the impact that synchronization protocols may have on cache behavior. A blocked task may in fact incur time penalties similar in kind to those caused by preemption, in that some useful code or data already loaded in the cache may be evicted while the task is blocked. In this paper we characterize the sources of cache-related blocking delay (CRBD). We then provide a bound on the CRBD for three synchronization protocols of inter- est. The comparison between these bounds provides striking evidence that an informed choice of the synchronization protocol helps contain the perturbing effects of blocking on the cache state.