The Wizard of OS: a Heartbeat for Legacy Multimedia Applications

T. Cucinotta, L. Abeni, L. Palopoli, F. Checconi


Multimedia applications are often characterised by implicit temporal constraints but, in many cases, they are not programmed using any specialised real-time API. These Legacy applications have no way to communicate their temporal constraints to the OS kernel, and their quality of service (QoS), being necessarily linked to the temporal behaviour, fails to satisfy acceptable standards. In this paper we propose an innovative way for dealing with these applications, based on the combination of an on-line identification mechanism (which extracts from high-level observations such important parameters as the execution rate) and an adaptive scheduler (specialised for legacy applications) that identifies the correct amount of CPU needed by each application. Preliminary experimental results are reported, proving the effectiveness of the proposed idea in providing a widely used multimedia player on Linux with appropriate QoS guarantees, through an appropriate choice of the scheduling parameters. Finally, a detailed road-map is presented with the possible extensions to the approach.

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