Real-time functionality is essential for developing many consumer, industrial, and systems devices. While the C/C++ programming language is most often used in the creation of real-time software, the Java language, with its simple and familiar object-oriented programming model, offers many advantages over current real-time practices. Concurrent and Real-Time Programming in Java covers the motivations for, and semantics of, the extensions and modifications to the Java programming environment that enable the Java platform (Virtual Machine) to meet the requirements and constraints of real-time development. Key aspects of concurrent and real-time programming and how they are implemented in Java are discussed, such as concurrency, memory management, real-time scheduling, and real-time resource sharing.
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Real-time and embedded systems have to respond to externally generated input stimuli within a finite and predictable time. Their correctness depends not only on the logical results of the computations, but also on the time at which those results are produced.
Just over 10 years since its first conception, Java augmented by the Real-Time Specification for Java (RTSJ), is one of the most exciting developments in real-time systems. The approach has been to extend the concurrency model to sup-port real-time programming abstractions, and to provide a complementary approach to memory management that removes the temporal uncertainties of garbage collection.
The book starts with an introduction to concurrent and real-time programming. It then describes the concurrency model of Java, summarizing both its strengths and weaknesses. Examples abound, and a case study of concurrent searching is presented. The book then provides a detailed introduction to and examination of the RTSJ.
Andy Wellings is Professor of Real-Time Systems at the University of York, UK. He has published over 150 technical papers and reports, has written 5 textbooks and edits the Wiley Journal Software Practice and Experience. He is a member of the Technical Interpretation Committee for the Real-Time Specification of Java. He teaches courses in Operating Systems, Real-Time Systems and Networks and Distributed Systems.
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