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The worst-case execution-time problem—overview of methods and survey of tools



Reinhard Wilhelm , Jakob Engblom , Andreas Ermedahl, Niklas Holsti , Stephan Thesing , David Whalley , Guillem Bernat , Christian Ferdinand , Reinhold Heckmann , Tulika Mitra , Frank Muller , Isabelle Puaut , Peter Puschner , Jan Staschulat , Per Stenström

Research group:

Publication Type:

Journal article


ACM Transactions on Embedded Computing Systems (TECS)




The determination of upper bounds on execution times, commonly called worst-case execution times (WCETs), is a necessary step in the development and validation process for hard real-time systems. This problem is hard if the underlying processor architecture has components, such as caches, pipelines, branch prediction, and other speculative components. This article describes different approaches to this problem and surveys several commercially available tools and research prototypes.


author = {Reinhard Wilhelm and Jakob Engblom and Andreas Ermedahl and Niklas Holsti and Stephan Thesing and David Whalley and Guillem Bernat and Christian Ferdinand and Reinhold Heckmann and Tulika Mitra and Frank Muller and Isabelle Puaut and Peter Puschner and Jan Staschulat and Per Stenstr{\"o}m},
title = {The worst-case execution-time problem—overview of methods and survey of tools},
volume = {7},
number = {3},
pages = {1--53},
month = {April},
year = {2008},
journal = {ACM Transactions on Embedded Computing Systems (TECS)},
publisher = {ACM},
url = {}