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Volume 8 Issue 2
Feb.  2021

IEEE/CAA Journal of Automatica Sinica

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Xi Jin, Changqing Xia, Nan Guan and Peng Zeng, "Joint Algorithm of Message Fragmentation and No-Wait Scheduling for Time-Sensitive Networks," IEEE/CAA J. Autom. Sinica, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 478-490, Feb. 2021. doi: 10.1109/JAS.2021.1003844
Citation: Xi Jin, Changqing Xia, Nan Guan and Peng Zeng, "Joint Algorithm of Message Fragmentation and No-Wait Scheduling for Time-Sensitive Networks," IEEE/CAA J. Autom. Sinica, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 478-490, Feb. 2021. doi: 10.1109/JAS.2021.1003844

Joint Algorithm of Message Fragmentation and No-Wait Scheduling for Time-Sensitive Networks

doi: 10.1109/JAS.2021.1003844
Funds:  This work was partially supported by National Key Research and Development Program of China (2018YFB1700200), National Natural Science Foundation of China (61972389, 61903356, 61803368, U1908212), Youth Innovation Promotion Association of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, National Science and Technology Major Project (2017ZX02101007-004), Liaoning Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (2020-MS-034, 2019-YQ-09), and China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2019M661156)
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  • Time-sensitive networks (TSNs) support not only traditional best-effort communications but also deterministic communications, which send each packet at a deterministic time so that the data transmissions of networked control systems can be precisely scheduled to guarantee hard real-time constraints. No-wait scheduling is suitable for such TSNs and generates the schedules of deterministic communications with the minimal network resources so that all of the remaining resources can be used to improve the throughput of best-effort communications. However, due to inappropriate message fragmentation, the real-time performance of no-wait scheduling algorithms is reduced. Therefore, in this paper, joint algorithms of message fragmentation and no-wait scheduling are proposed. First, a specification for the joint problem based on optimization modulo theories is proposed so that off-the-shelf solvers can be used to find optimal solutions. Second, to improve the scalability of our algorithm, the worst-case delay of messages is analyzed, and then, based on the analysis, a heuristic algorithm is proposed to construct low-delay schedules. Finally, we conduct extensive test cases to evaluate our proposed algorithms. The evaluation results indicate that, compared to existing algorithms, the proposed joint algorithm improves schedulability by up to 50%.


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    • Under no-wait scheduling, fragmentation algorithms affect transmission delay because smaller packets have higher parallelism. However, smaller packets introduce more fragmentation overhead.
    • An optimization-modulo-theories specification for the joint problem of message fragmentation and no-wait scheduling is proposed to improve the schedulability of time-sensitive networks and reduce the overhead of fragmenting and reassembling.
    • The worst-case delays of messages are calculated based on a recursive function, and two corollaries are proposed on how to construct low-delay transmissions.
    • Based on the two corollaries, a joint algorithm is proposed that uses packets from large to small to construct schedules under hard real-time constraints. Thus, the proposed joint algorithm can strike a balance between temporality and overhead.


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