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19.1 Overview

A real-time system is a computer system that requires not only that the computing results be “correct” but also that the results be produced within a specified deadline period. Results produced after the deadline has passed—even if correct—may be of no real value. To illustrate, consider an autonomous robot that delivers mail in an office complex. If its vision-control system identifies a wall after the robot has walked into it, despite correctly identifying the wall, the system has not met its requirement. Contrast this timing requirement with the much less strict demands of other systems. In an interactive desktop computer system, it is desirable to provide a quick response time to the interactive user, but it is not mandatory to do so. Some systems —such as a batch-processing system—may have no timing requirements whatsoever.

  

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