Design Space Exploration and Ptolemy II

Researchers: Bart Kienhuis
Advisor:Edward A. Lee

In today's embedded system designs, the ability to make the proper trade-offs between the many variables involved is increasingly becoming the key to a successful realization. We are developing in Ptolemy II a domain that supports designers in making these trade-offs by making design space exploration easier, thereby helping designers in addressing the important "what-if" questions and doing the analysis.

The approach is to view design space exploration as a particular model of computation in Ptolemy II. In this model, data tokens flow between actors that represent particular tools. On a firing of an actor, the actor invokes a particular task supported by the associated tool. This model is very similar to the model used in the Nelsis design framework [1]. Examples of tasks are the generation of parameter values to span a design space, the execution of scripts, or the visualization of multi-dimensional data. An actor may also represent a complete Ptolemy II model. By using Ptolemy, we can use the graphical interface and the actor model. The graphical interface makes it easy to define a particular design flow. The actor model makes it easier to extend the DSE domain with new functionally, such as smarter ways to selected parameter values or view multi-dimensional data.

In design space exploration, many different models are created, executed, and studied. Therefore, some kind of data management needs to be available. Much of the research effort will be devoted to how the data management needs to be integrated in the actor model in the DSE domain so that the overall system is robust and has multi-user and multi-site capabilities.

K.O. ten Bosch, P. Bingley, P. van der Wolf. "Design Flow Management in the Nelsis CAD Framework", Proc. 28th ACM/IEEE Design Automation Conference. 1991.

Last updated 11/05/99