Compensate or ignore? Meeting control robustness requirements through adaptive soft-error handling

presented in LCTES'16


To avoid catastrophic events like unrecoverable system failures on mobile and embedded systems caused by soft-errors, software-based error detection and compensation techniques have been proposed. Methods like error-correction codes or redundant execution can offer high flexibility and allow for application-specific fault-tolerance selection without the needs of special hardware supports. However, such software-based approaches may lead to system overload due to the execution time overhead. An adaptive deployment of such techniques to meet both application requirements and system constraints is desired. From our case study, we observe that a control task can tolerate limited errors with acceptable performance loss. Such tolerance can be modeled as a (m,k) constraint which requires at least m correct runs out of any k consecutive runs to be correct. In this paper, we discuss how a given (m,k) constraint can be satisfied by adopting patterns of task instances with individual error detection and compensation capabilities. We introduce static strategies and provide a formal feasibility analysis for validation. Furthermore, we develop an adaptive scheme that extends our initial approach with online awareness that increases efficiency while preserving analysis results. The effectiveness of our method is shown in a real-world case study as well as for synthesized task sets.