Real-time communication with deterministic guarantees on network delay and jitter (delay variation) is of paramount importance for time-critical applications to ensure safety requirements. Such time-critical applications can be found in many application domains relying on networked sensors, actuators, and controllers such as manufacturing (including the trend towards the Industrial IoT), the automotive domain (including the trend towards autonomous driving), and avionics, just to name a few.
One method to provide deterministic guarantees (upper bounds) on network delay is to reserve dedicated time slots for the critical traffic. This approach is called Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) and requires a careful scheduling of these time slots.
Recently, the IEEE has released a set of standards, subsumed under the term Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN), including a TDMA scheduling mechanism called Time-aware Shaper (TAS) for switched IEEE 802.3 networks (Ethernet). However, although the TAS scheduling mechanism is well-defined by the TSN standard IEEE 802.1Q, the algorithms for planning the schedules are still an open research question.
Therefore, the goal of this project is to fill this gap by developing algorithms for calculating schedules and routes for time-critical communication streams in TSN for isolating these streams in both, time and space. Since finding the optimal schedule and route configuration is often an NP-hard problem, efficient methods to approximate the optimal configuration are one major target. As a prerequisite of schedule and route calculation, we also aim at modelling the essential characteristics of TSN networks, the requirements of the real-time streams. In addition, we also consider the configuration of so-called converged networks transporting different classes of streams over one share network infrastructure, by investigating the relations and influences between different stream classes.