Constrained by limited budgets, most enterprises find it essential to apply unprecedented business discipline to the business function of software and system delivery (SSD) across entire software and system life cycles. For this reason, the CIO, CTO, or VP of software or systems development may be under increased scrutiny from the corporate chief finance office (CFO). When conversing with the CFO, money talks, so only one of two sorts of conversations can take place: software and systems as cost center or software and systems as value-creation center. The second is more involved than the first since cost is easily measured and the value of the software and systems under development is difficult to measure. Also, the second conversation entails treating software and systems programs as investments and calculating the return on investment (ROI) along with the investment risk.
Timed automata and their priced and game extensions provide a uniform and expressive formalism for dynamic resource allocation problems with hard real-time constraints, that is, timing constraints that must be satisfied under all circumstances. This is in contrast to soft real-time constraints, which only need to be met with a certain probability, .999 say, and which require stochastic modeling formalisms such as discrete-time or continuous-time Markov chains, queueing models. While hard real-time focuses on worst-case analysis, soft real-time addresses more refined properties such as average-case performance.
However, within the setting of hard real-time, timed automata and their extensions allow for analysis of a wide collection of performance and optimization problems, with results competitive with respect to more traditional approaches such as mixed-integer linear programming or others.