RTAS’22 Trip Report

Milan Cathedral is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world

Welcome to the trip report on the 28th IEEE International Symposium on Real-Time and Embedded Technology and Applications Symposium (RTAS’22)! For the third time, our travel route does neither include planes nor trains but only a short walk to our desks. Due to the tapering pandemic, the General Chair Nan Guan had to re-organize the planned on-site RTAS in Milano to a fully-virtual conference in the lands of Zoom and Slack. As part of the CPS-IoT Week, RTAS attracted at least 127 of all 684 CPS-IoT Week attendees, making RTAS the second largest of the five conferences (ICCPS being the largest with 178 registrations). Compared to the last year, CPS-IoT Week attracted 30 percent more attendees.

For two tracks, our Program Chair Heechul Yun arranged an exciting program of 22 full papers and 8 brief-presentation papers. As in good tradition and following the general trend of systems conferences, RTAS included an artifact evaluation. Furthermore, as RTAS is embedded in the CPS-IoT Week, we could enjoy 3 keynotes, 7 workshops, 3 tutorials and two competitions.

Main Program

For the 22 full papers, the 66 members of the program committee and 92 sub-reviewers received and reviewed 93 submissions (24% acceptance rate). Each submission received at least four reviews. Both of RTAS’ tracks received a balanced amount of submissions (track 1: 49, track 2: 44) and the review process resulted in 11 accepted papers per track. Regionally, the submissions came from Europe (40%), America (42%) and Asia (19%). During the rebuttal phase, two papers were withdrawn, and the PC directly accepted 8 papers for the conference. Furthermore, 14 papers were conditionally accepted with a following shepherding process.

For the accepted papers, RTAS provided the authors with the possibility to hand in an Artifact Evaluation (AE) led by Renato Mancuso. The non-competitive and success-oriented AE received 6 submissions (27%). We hope to see more members of the community participate in artifact evaluation in the future!

Furthermore, our program included a brief presentation session on Thursday, where we enjoyed 2 industry papers, 5 Work-in-Progress contributions and one demonstration.

Outstanding Papers

For the Best Paper and the Best Student Paper Awards, three papers were nominated. Anam Farrukh, a researcher from Boston University, presented “FlyOS: Integrated Modular Avionics for Autonomous Multicopters” and proposed a timing- and safety-critical flight stack on the base of co-hosting Linux with the real-time OS Quest. With “Partial-Order Reduction for Schedule-Abstraction-based Response-Time Analyses of Non-Preemptive Tasks”, Sayra Ranjha, from Eindhofen and Delft, seek to improve the scalability of schedule-abstraction-based analyses. Shengzhong Liu, from the University of Illinois, presented with “Self-Cueing Real-Time Attention Scheduling in Criticality-Aware Visual Machine Perception” a scheduling policy to minimize the location error while executing perception algorithms on resource-limited hardware.


Carrying the tradition of past CPS-IoT Weeks, each day of the three conference days included a thought-provoking interdisciplinary keynote. The first keynote by Karl H. Johanson (KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden), talked about the automated control of heavy-duty trucks, from the vehicle level of forming and maintaining platoons to the high-level strategic planing of future platoons. One idea that I found especially interesting is the usage of truck platoons as a moving road block to regulate and optimize traffic conditions by slowing down the following traffic.

Thursday’s keynote was given by Luca Benini (ETH Zürich, Switzerland and Università di Bologna, Italy) on the challenges when switching ML methods from Cloud to embedded devices. Among others, he spoke about xPULP extensions to RISC-V, which achieves up to 75 times faster 8-bit convolutions on small microcontrollers. And all of this is publicly available as open source!

As a concluding keynote, Richard West (Boston University, USA and Drako Motors Inc., USA) spoke about the architecture of future automotive systems. And I was absolutely astonished to learn that electronic components currently account for 35 percent of the cost of a 2020 car. He presented the DriveOS architecture, where Linux and a small RTOS live symbotic as the core of a USB-centric car architecture. At the core of this architecture, DriveOS uses the Quest-V separation kernel to virtually partition the centralized PC.

TCRTS/RTAS Award Session

The award session was held on Thursday after the brief presentation session. After all the reviews were in and the reviewers nominated papers for awards, each of the four members of the RTAS’22 Award Selection Committee ranked the nominees privately. Afterwards, in a joined Zoom session, the committee jointly selected the outstanding papers and decided on the winners of the Best Paper Awards.

This year’s Best Paper award goes to “Partial-Order Reduction for Schedule-Abstraction-based Response-Time Analyses of Non-Preemptive Tasks” by Sayra Ranjha, Geoffrey Nelissen, and Mitra Nasri [DOI 10.1109/RTAS54340.2022.00018]. The Best Student Paper Award was received by Anam Farrukh and Richard West for “FlyOS: Integrated Modular Avionics for Autonomous Multicopters” [DOI 10.1109/RTAS54340.2022.00014]. I want to congratulate both author groups!

Additionally, the Influential Paper Award, which is given to papers from previous RTAS conferences, was awarded to the RTAS 2002 paper “RAP: a real-time communication architecture for large-scale wireless sensor networks” [DOI 10.1109/RTTAS.2002.1137381]. With this paper, Chenyang Lu, Brian Blum, Tarek Abdelzaher, John Stankovic, and Tian He fostered the awareness of the real-time requirements in wireless sensor networks and triggered a significant body of followup work.


Christian Dietrich is Junior Professor in the Department Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Mathematics at the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH). His research interests is the intersection of operating systems, compilers, and computer architecture.

DisclaimerAny views or opinions represented in this blog are personal, belong solely to the blog post authors and do not represent those of ACM SIGBED or its parent organization, ACM.