"On the Specification of Linking Interfaces in Distributed Real-Time Systems";
This paper is concerned with building large distributed real-time systems out of computational components that interact by the exchange of messages across linking interfaces (LIFs). The notions of an operational and a meta-level specification of a LIF of a component are introduced. The operational specification is concerned with the data structures and the timing of the messages that are exchanged among the components. Because of the difficulties in specifying the temporal properties of a LIF when using the client-server model, the temporal firewall model is proposed as an alternative interface in distributed real-time systems for the exchange of time-sensitive information. The meta-level specification assigns meanings to the syntactic elements formed at the operational level. The interdependencies between the state of a LIF, the state of a component, and the model of time are discussed. If a component is an open component, i.e., it interacts with the natural environment, then there are fundamental limits to the formal specification of the meta-level.
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