Daniel Suo

Scientific progress goes 'boink'

Ph.D. Candidate
Princeton University
Department of Computer Science

Deadline Assignment in a Distributed Soft Real Time System



  • Assign local deadline to subtasks such that global deadline is met


  • Soft real-time system (i.e., minimize number of deadlines that are missed)
    • May not know how many computations ahead of times
    • Computations may be complex and hard to predict task times
  • Each subtask is submitted to some component, which may have local tasks that compete for resources with subtasks assigned there
  • Subtask deadlines are assigned online (i.e., not known ahead of time); may depend on earlier subtasks, for example
  • Scheduler at each component (or node) is independent of others. That is, each scheduler only decides based on the subtasks and deadlines that it has
  • Components are unique; subtasks must be executed at a particular component and cannot be moved
  • Network communication can be considered another task

System models

  • Distributed real-time system has several nodes representing components, which manage one or more resources. Each node has its own real-time scheduler (e.g., earliest deadline first)
  • Local (visit only one node; only sees scheduler once) and global tasks, which has stages. Associated with execution node.
  • Process manager monitors global task and submits subtasks to appropriate execution nodes; manager is notified when subtasks are finished
  • Each task X (local, global, or subtask) has the following attributes:
    • arrival time
    • slack time
    • deadline time
    • execution time
    • predicted execution time
    • Note that dl(X) = ar(X) + ex(X) + sl(X)
  • Global tasks arrive with their arrival time and deadline known
  • Sometimes, prediction may be available

  • Flexibility fl(X) = sl(X) / ex(X). In otherwords, how much slack to how much execution time (hope ex(X) < dl(X) - ar(X))
  • stage(X) = i if X is the ith task of its global task


  • Ultimate deadline (UD): set subtask deadline equal to deadline of global task. Execution time of future subtasks are treated as slack for current subtask.
  • Effective deadline (ED): deadline of global task minus total expected execution time of subtasks following the subtask. Slack of future subtasks treated as slack of current subtask.
  • Equal slack (EQS): divide remaining slack equally among remaining subtasks
  • Equal flexibility (EQF): divide remaining slack among subtasks in proportion to their predicted execution time


  • All global tasks have fixed number of subtasks, m.
  • k homogenous nodes in the system
  • All nodes use earliest-deadline-first scheduling and there is no preemption
  • Understand ratio of missed deadline under different loads and algorithms