Software Eng. 4AO3 - Design of Real-Time Systems and Computerized Control Systems


Dr. Mark Lawford
Office: ITB/160
Office Hours: Friday 14:30-16:30

Teaching Assistants:

Cen Song & TBA
Offices: ITB/224


  • Location: ABB/136
  • Time: Mon, Thurs 12:30-13:20,
    Tues 13:30-14:20


  • Location: ITB/238&239
  • Time: Mon 14:30-17:20


The mission of this course is to teach students how to build computer systems that can be trusted in situations where the system’s response to external events must be both timely and accurate. An important class of such systems are systems intended to control physical processes. Students will be taught how conventional (analog) control systems can be implemented (simulated) by software running on digital computers. They will also be taught how finite state controllers can be used to control systems with discrete states or operating modes. Students must understand how analog and digital systems can interact and cooperate. They must also understand how to design systems for use in safety-critical situations, especially how to design systems that fail safe . This course assumes that the students understand the basics of conventional (analog) control system and teaches them how the newer digital technology that can extend the capability of such systems.


Two marking schemes are provided. In order to have your assignments count in your final mark (Scheme A), you must pass (obtain > 50%) on the combination of your midterm and final (Scheme B). Provided you pass by Scheme B *AND* you completed all of the labs, your final mark will be the max(Scheme A, Scheme B). Otherwise your mark will be min(Scheme A, Scheme B).

Scheme A

Midterm exam (2 hours)25%
Assignments/Labs 25%
Final exam (3 hours) 50%

Scheme B

Midterm exam (2 hours)30%
Assignments/Labs 0%
Final exam (3 hours) 70%

NOTE: In order to pass the course you must pass the combination of the midterm and final.


  1. Phillip A. Laplante, Real-Time Systems Design and Analysis (3rd Edition), John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2004. ISBN 0-471-22855-9
  2. SFWR ENG 4A03 Course Pack (Available at the bookstore).



(slides: intro.pdf)
Digital Control Theory:
Data Acquisition Details:
Design & Implementation of Digital Control Systems:
(slides: implement.pdf)
Real-time Operating Systems:
Specification & Design of Real-Time Systems:
Concurrent Systems: The Task Model
Scheduling of Tasks:
Fault Tolerant and Fail-Safe Design:
Performance Evaluation of Real-Time Systems:
Introduction to State Space Methods:



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Academic Dishonesty

“Academic dishonesty consists of misrepresentation by deception or by other fraudulent means and can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: ‘Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty’), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university. It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various kinds of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, specifically Appendix 3, located at\_integrity.htm
The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained. An example is copying all or part of someone’s assignment and handing it in as your own.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.”

Bonus Marks

At the discretion of the instructor, a student will receive 1 to 2 “bonus marks” on their latest assignment for being the first person to point out a technical error in the lecture slides or other course related handout.