A Tool to Produce Automatically GALS Systems
from Synchronous Circuits

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Reactive systems are computer systems that react continuously to their environment, at a speed determined by the latter. Synchronous languages have been designed to facilitate the programming of reactive systems. The main synchronous languages are Esterel, Lustre, Argos, and Signal.

Many reactive systems have to be distributed on several computing sites, for various reasons: performance increase, location of sensors and actuators, fault tolerance. The screp tool parallelizes synchronous programs, according to distribution specifications given by the user.

Description de l'outil screp

Screp is based on the object code parallelization method. It consists in compiling the source program into a single object program, and then parallelizing this centralized program towards as many programs as there are computing sites, so that each site only has to perform its own computations. Therefore, screp takes advantage of the existing common format SC for synchronous languages. Indeed, SC code can be obtained from the Esterel compiler. Without going into details, an SC program is a boolean synchronous circuit with a finite memory for the computations. Screp takes as input:

The distribution specifications consist in a partition of the set of inputs and outputs of the program into as many sub-sets as there are computing sites. This assigns a unique computing site to each input/output. Concretely, the distribution specification file contains a table of sites, with the same syntax as the other SC tables:

site_part        :   /* empty */
                 |   'sites:' integer site_table 'end:'

site_table       :   site_table site_definition

site_definition  :   integer ':' identifier '(' signal_list ')'

Here, signal_list is a list of names of input and output signals of the SC program.

A few words on local and exception signals. They come from Esterel programs and are used to express special synchronization constraints: synchronization between parallel modules, trap-exit, and so on. However, in the SC code, all these synchronization constraints are directly expressed by the control structure of the circuit: local and exception signals are translated into wires by the Esterel compiler. A consequence is that there should be no output or present actions involving local or exception signals. This is why screp arbitrary decides to localize any local or exception signal to site 0. Note that these signals have no name, so a site's signal_list cannot contain local or exception signals.

The communications take place through a fully-connected network of FIFO channels. Two communication primitives are used:

Screp produces one SC program for each site specified in the distribution specification file. Each SC program contains the necessary communication actions to permit references to non local variables. For instance, the command:


produces two files and if the file foo.rep specifies a distribution towards two sites. Each file produced by screp can then be compiled by the Esterel compiler.


The following options are available:

-h Print the help message.
-version Display the version number of screp.
-info Display all informations about screp.

Getting screp

The screp tool is available for Unix architectures:

This distribution of screp contains four directories:




Last modification: August 7th 2002