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<p><b>Abstract</b>—This paper focuses on the problem of determining a priori the maximal response time of rule-based programs. The response time analysis problem is an important problem, especially for real-time systems. We study this problem in the context of OPS5 production systems. Two aspects of the response time of a program are investigated, the maximal number of rule firings and the maximal number of basic comparisons made by the Rete network during the execution of the program. The response time analysis problem is in general undecidable. However, a program terminates in a finite time if the rule triggering pattern of this program satisfies certain conditions. In this paper, we present four such termination conditions for OPS5 production systems. An algorithm for computing an upper bound on the number of rule firings is then given. To have a better idea of the time required during execution, we present an algorithm that computes the maximal time required during the match phase in terms of the number of comparisons made by the Rete network. This measurement is sufficient since the match phase consumes about 90 percent of the execution time.</p>
Computer-aided software engineering, OPS, real-time decision systems, response time, rule-based programs, special forms, static analysis, verification.

J. Chen and A. M. Cheng, "Response Time Analysis of OPS5 Production Systems," in IEEE Transactions on Knowledge & Data Engineering, vol. 12, no. , pp. 391-409, 2000.
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