What Is ‘Real-Time’ Anyway…?

So what does real-time mean anyway? An example is, what are referred to as, “hard-real-time systems” [2], where computation must meet stringent timing constraints and one must guarantee that those computations must be completed before specified deadlines. Failure to do so can lead to intolerable system degradation and can in some applications lead to catastrophic loss of life or property.
Many safety-critical systems are hard-real-time systems, and include embedded tactical systems for military applications, flight mission control, traffic control, production control, nuclear plant control etc. and in many cases the real-time properties need to be guaranteed and proven – often using techniques such as formal methods [3] for example.

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