Evaluating the Perceived Overhead Imposed by Object-Oriented Programming in a Real-time Embedded System

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2003-05-16

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Virginia Tech

Abstract

This thesis presents the design and evaluation of an object-oriented (OO) operating system kernel for real-time embedded systems based on dataflow architecture. Dataflow is a software architecture that is well suited to applications that involve signal flows and value transformations. Typically, these systems comprise numerous processes with heavy inter-process communications. The dataflow style has been adopted for the control software for PEBB (Power Electronic Building Block) systems by the Center for Power Electronic Systems (CPES), Virginia Tech., which is involved in a research effort to modularize and standardize power electronic components. The goal of our research is to design and implement an efficient object-oriented kernel for the PEBB system and compare its performance vis-à-vis that of a non-OO kernel. It presents strategies for efficient OO design and a discussion of how OO performance issues can be ameliorated. We conclude the thesis with an evaluation of the advantages gained by using the OO paradigm both from the standpoint of the classically cited advantages of OO programming and other crucial aspects.

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Kernel, Real-time, Embedded, Operating System, Object-Oriented

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