A.o. Univ. Prof. Dr. Dipl.-Ing. eva Kühn
TU Wien

Thomas Hamboeck

Towards a Toolchain for Asynchronous Embedded Programming based on the Peer-Model


Diploma Thesis, TU-Vienna, 2015


In recent years, the field of wireless sensor networks grew more and more. Suitable wireless sensor nodes are getting cheaper and cheaper and therefore, even large quantities are affordable for amateur home automation and other smaller projects. Nevertheless, toolchain support and software development principles are far from optimal. The focus of this work is to bring software engineering methods to embedded systems programming and the development of a toolchain for distributed embedded systems, supporting embedded software engineers in design and implementation.


The motivating use case for this work comes from the railway telematics domain where copper cables shall be replaced by wireless smart nodes along a railway track. A wheel sensor beside the track reports approaching trains and this information has to be routed over the wireless network to a controller at the level crossing.


The Peer Model is a programming model especially aiming to improve the development of coordination for distributed and concurrent systems. It is based on a space-based abstraction and uses an asynchronous, event-driven approach. This model is therefore adapted to fit wireless sensor networks' needs. Then a domain specific language is developed which shall serve as the basis for a holistic toolchain. To bridge the gap between coordination design and embedded implementation a compiler generating ANSI C code for embedded platforms is implemented. The ANSI C framework is implemented for one Arduino based controller and one wireless sensor node optimised with respect to energy efficiency.


Finally the advantages of the developed toolchain are evaluated by implementing different case studies. The implementations of the scenarios are benchmarked regarding framework overhead, energy efficiency and source code changes implied by changing requirements. For the motivating use case also fieldtests beside a railway track are carried out and analysed.


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