In Cyber-Physical Systems, the software must execute in sync with the physical processes it interacts with. For instance, in a car airbag system, the software must finish the evaluation of a crash and trigger the inflation of the airbag in order to complete the process in less than 20 milliseconds; otherwise the driver can be seriously injured. This completion time limit for the software is known as a real-time deadline. Guaranteeing these deadlines--even in the worst-case scenario (as when all tasks arrive simultaneously)--has been the study of the real-time scheduling theory.
In recent years, two trends have imposed new challenges to the
timing verification for real-time systems: (i) the functional
consolidation of tasks of different criticalities in shared
processors--these are called mixed-criticality real-time systems, and (ii) the advent of multicore processors. The SEI has been researching these two areas.