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Principles of Concurrent and Distributed Programming, Second Edition by M. Ben-Ari

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Chapter 13. Real-Time Systems

Introduction

A reactive system is one that runs continuously, receiving inputs from and sending outputs to hardware components. If a reactive system must operate according to strict constraints on its response time, it is called a real-time system. Modern computer systems are more likely than not to be reactive systems: a word processor can be considered to be a reactive system because it waits for input from hardware components (the keyboard and the mouse) and produces output on other hardware components (the screen and the hard disk). Nevertheless, the study of reactive systems in general, and real-time systems in particular, primarily concerns embedded computer systems, which have a computer as only one of a set ...

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