Saarland University

Saarbrücken, Germany


Project coordinator, leading WP5, timing analysis, static program analysis, compilation, system design.

Specific skills

The Compiler Design Lab at the Saarland University together with its spin-off company AbsInt is leading worldwide in the area of timing analysis of hard real-time systems. The development of aiT, AbsInt’s award-winning timing-analysis tool, is based on decades of research on static program analysis at Reinhard Wilhelm’s Chair for Programming Languages and Compiler Construction.

Static analysis of an embedded program is used to derive invariants about execution states for all inputs to the program. These invariants allow the derivation of reliable upper and lower bounds on the execution times of programs on a given hardware architecture. This technology has been developed in a series of national and EU-funded projects. The most important of those was the IST project DAEDALUS, led by Airbus. DAEDALUS was concerned with the derivation of guarantees for safety-critical avionics software and was considered a highly successful project. The aiT technology developed in the project has been instantiated for numerous processors ranging from simple microprocessors up to most complex processors of the PowerPC family. The tool is widely used in the European aeronautics and automotive industry. By working on this wide range of architectures, Reinhard Wilhelm’s group and AbsInt have gained deep insights into the predictability properties of hardware architectures.

While the application of static analysis to the determination of bounds on execution times is probably the most spectacular application pursued at Saarland University, considerable foundational work has been done as well. For example, a new approach to static analysis based on 3-valued logic has been developed together with the Tel Aviv University and University of Wisconsin at Madison. It has been successfully applied to systems with dynamically growing and shrinking sets of objects/threads/actors. This technology is extended to systems with dynamically changing communication topologies in the nationally funded project AVACS (Automatic Verification and Analysis of Complex Systems). Reinhard Wilhelm also directs the timing analysis activity in the European Network of Excellence ARTIST2 that combines all European groups working in the area of embedded systems design.

Key personnel

PREDATOR-related publications