Tools for Designing
Robust Embedded Systems

Overview | Topic Areas
Tutorials | Books & Standards | Papers | Software | Data | Internet Resources


Safety and dependability are important aspects of many embedded systems, including an Automated Highway System (AHS) [NAHSC vision]. A vehicle equipped with driver assistance or automated driving capabilities is entrusted with safety critical aspects of driving. If it should fail, then people might be injured or killed, and property might be damaged. Therefore, special care must be taken to design an AHS to be dependable (so that it doesn't fail often) and robust (so that if it should fail it will not cause an accident). And, this must be accomplished at an affordable cost.

This set of web pages serves as an information repository for embedded system designers who need to learn about and use dependability and safety tools. (The word "tool" is used in the broad sense, including not only software tools, but methodologies and databases.) The types of items described by this repository include:

The emphasis is on providing annotated lists of tools that are likely to be useful to AHS designers. In most cases a detailed description page is available for each tool so that the reader can screen items for appropriateness before investing the effort to do a detailed examination of the actual item. The emphasis is on a reasonable level of detail of carefully selected items, not on including every possible item of each type. In most cases there are pointers to WWW pages available at other sites that attempt exhaustive coverage (but usually without much in the way of annotation).

Multi-Objective Model:

Tool annotations include a characterization according to a three-objective model of robust embedded system design:

The description is accomplished with a table that marks each item as "emphasized", "discussed", and "mentioned", roughly corresponding to a high/medium/low subjective rating. For example, a particular paper may talk about both dependability and safety, but be concentrated soleley on electronic hardware and the design phase. The description should help the reader determine at a glance whether the resource provides the type of information that is being sought.

This three-objective model is also being used as the philosophical basis for the CMU Embedded and Reliable Information Systems laboratory (ERIS) at the Carnegie Mellon Institute for Complex Engineered Systems. A more detailed exposition of the model and explanation of its importance to embedded systems will appear in due course.

For a little bit of fun, check out the Dependable WAV sound Archive page.

This work was initially sponsored by USDOT under Cooperative Agreement Number DTFH61-94-X-00001 as part of the National Automated Highway System Consortium (NAHSC) as part of the CMU AHS group.


Philip Koopman: