For safety reasons, WCET will always be somewhat pessimistic. However, techniques that work well for single-core systems risk generating a WCET that is unreasonably large when applied to multicore systems, because the effects of contention can become disproportionate. The objective, therefore, is to calculate a value that is plausible and useful, without being optimistic. Optimism in relation to WCET is inherently unsafe.
It is not enough to identify how sensitive an application’s tasks are to different types and levels of interference; it is also necessary to understand what degree of interference a task may suffer in reality. It is possible to lessen the pessimism in WCET analysis by viewing the processor under observation through this paradigm.
The degree to which we can reduce pessimism is dependent on how effectively we can analyze the system. Factors influencing this include:
- The overhead of the tracing mechanism (which affects depth of instrumentation)
- The availability and reliability of performance counters
- The availability of information regarding other tasks executing on the system
- The quality of tests that exercise the code