EP2747052A1 - Method and apparatus for execution control of output actions in one or more output interfaces - Google Patents

Method and apparatus for execution control of output actions in one or more output interfaces Download PDF

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EP2747052A1
EP2747052A1 EP12199343.0A EP12199343A EP2747052A1 EP 2747052 A1 EP2747052 A1 EP 2747052A1 EP 12199343 A EP12199343 A EP 12199343A EP 2747052 A1 EP2747052 A1 EP 2747052A1
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output
output action
respective
time
action
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German (de)
French (fr)
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EP2747052B1 (en
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Andrea Tomatis
Lin Lan
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Hitachi Ltd
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Hitachi Ltd
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08GTRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEMS
    • G08G1/00Traffic control systems for road vehicles
    • G08G1/09Arrangements for giving variable traffic instructions
    • G08G1/0962Arrangements for giving variable traffic instructions having an indicator mounted inside the vehicle, e.g. giving voice messages
    • G08G1/0967Systems involving transmission of highway information, e.g. weather, speed limits
    • G08G1/096733Systems involving transmission of highway information, e.g. weather, speed limits where a selection of the information might take place
    • G08G1/09675Systems involving transmission of highway information, e.g. weather, speed limits where a selection of the information might take place where a selection from the received information takes place in the vehicle

Abstract

The present invention relates to a method and an apparatus for execution control of ITS output actions in one or more output interfaces having output means configured to execute a set of one or more ITS output actions, comprising providing output action data indicative of one or more ITS output actions to be executed at the output means, each ITS output action being associated with one of a plurality of ITS service categories, determining, for each ITS output action, a respective priority parameter (Prio) indicative of a priority of execution of the respective ITS output action, and selecting, among the output actions to be executed at the output means, a set of one or more ITS output actions for execution on the basis of the determined priority parameters, wherein each ITS service category is associated with a respective priority parameter range (PRIOMIN - PRIOMAX) and said respective priority parameter is determined within the corresponding priority parameter range of the ITS service category associated with the respective ITS output action.

Description

  • The present invention relates to a method and an apparatus for execution control of output actions in one or more output interfaces having output means configured to execute a set of one or more output actions in the field of ITS (Intelligent Transportation System).
  • Background of the Invention
  • Nowadays, the information available in ITS systems such as in the ITS in-vehicle system is continuously increasing. In particular, many applications (e.g. ADAS, C2X and telematics services) are running together (simultaneously) to assist the driver in mobility. The resulting information which is provided to the user through HMI actuators or by controlling directly the vehicle by means of control actuators should be checked beforehand and arbitrated once multiple ITS output actions from one or more applications/sources have to be taken (executed). It is desirable to perform a prioritization process for determining priorities of ITS output actions for the reliable arbitration process.
  • For example, US 2008/0114533 A1 describes a method for arbitrating between vehicle navigation systems in the event that multiple systems are concurrently activated so that information is provided to a user by only one navigation system at a time. In this document, however, the arbitration is done on the base of user selection only without exploiting the service category of the sources for arbitration or the respective action. US 2008/0125103 A1 describes a method for dynamically selecting user presented services that are based upon a situation context. Based on the situation context, a set of services can be prioritized for the situation.
  • In view of the prior art, it is desirable to differentiate the output actions for reliable prioritization and arbitration purposes on the basis of service categories. In addition, it may be desirable to consider the reliability of the source for calculation of the priority of output actions.
  • Summary of the Invention
  • It is an object of the present invention to provide a method and an apparatus for reliable and efficient execution control of ITS output actions in one or more output interfaces having output means configured to execute a set of one or more ITS output actions in the field of ITS including efficient and reliable prioritization for ITS output actions of plural ITS service categories.
  • For solving the object of the present invention, a method for execution control according to claim 1, an apparatus for execution control according to claim 14 and a computer program product according to claim 15 are proposed. Dependent claims relate to preferred embodiments of the present invention.
  • According to an aspect of the invention, there is proposed a method for execution control of ITS output actions in one or more output interfaces having output means configured to execute a set of one or more ITS output actions. The method comprises a step of providing output action data indicative of one or more ITS output actions to be executed at the output means (e.g. an HMI means or output actuators as well as direct control actuators in some embodiments), each ITS output action being associated with one of a plurality of ITS service categories, a step of determining, for each ITS output action, a respective priority parameter indicative of a priority of execution of the respective ITS output action, and a step of selecting, among the output actions to be executed at the output means, a set of one or more ITS output actions for execution on the basis of the determined priority parameters.
  • According to this aspect of the invention, each ITS service category is associated with a respective priority parameter range and said respective priority parameter is determined within the corresponding priority parameter range of the ITS service category associated with the respective ITS output action.
  • Accordingly, in the arbitration and prioritization of plural output actions to be executed at one or more actuators (e.g. action execution means such as HMI devices or control actuators), the service class can be reliably considered by taking into account priority parameter ranges for each service category.
  • If there are plural actuators/output means, the actuator/output means for a specific output action to be used for execution thereof may be indicated in the output action data (e.g. as an actuator ID or output means ID) or the actuator to be used may be determined based on the type of the output action, the source of the output action and/or based on the service category associated with the output action.
  • According to a preferred aspect, the method may further comprise a step of executing the selected output actions at one or more output means (e.g. actuators such as HMI actuators or control actuators).
  • According to a preferred aspect, the method may further comprise a step of interrupting executing an active ITS output action being executed at the output means and starting executing an inactive second ITS output action to be executed at the output means, if a comparison of the priority parameter determined for the active ITS output action and the priority parameter determined for the inactive ITS output action indicates that the inactive ITS output action has a higher priority. In another alternative preferred aspect, the method may further comprise a step of interrupting executing an active ITS output action being executed at the output means and starting executing an inactive second ITS output action to be executed at the output means, if a comparison of the priority parameter determined for the active ITS output action and the priority parameter determined for the inactive ITS output action indicates that the inactive ITS output action has a higher priority and a minimum execution time of executing the active ITS output action has expired.
  • In further preferred aspects, the priority parameter ranges of at least two ITS service categories may be different. Further preferably, the priority parameter ranges of at least two ITS service categories may be overlapping.
  • In further preferred aspects, for each ITS output action to be executed at the output means, said determining the priority parameter is preferably further based on a time parameter, which is indicative of a time period to an event being related to the respective ITS output action or which is indicative of a time period to a time at which the respective ITS output action is to be executed at the latest prior to the event being related to the respective ITS output action.
  • Further preferably, the respective time parameter is indicated in the output action data for the respective ITS output action, or the time to the event being related to the respective ITS output action is preferably indicated in the output action data for the respective ITS output action and the time parameter is preferably calculated based on the time to the event being related to the respective ITS output action and a minimum execution time period, wherein the minimum execution time period preferably indicates a minimum time period between execution of the ITS output action and the time of the event.
  • Further preferably, one or more ITS service categories are associated with respective minimum execution time periods, and, for a respective ITS output action, the time parameter is preferably calculated on the basis of the minimum execution time period associated with the ITS service category of the respective ITS output action.
  • Further preferably, for each ITS output action to be executed at the output means, said determining the priority parameter is based on a normalized time parameter being normalized based on the respective time parameter and a respective time parameter range.
  • Further preferably, each ITS service category is associated with a respective time parameter range and said normalized time parameter is normalized based on the time parameter range being associated with the ITS service category of the respective ITS output action.
  • Further preferably, the method may further comprise including, upon receiving output action data for a respective output action, a time stamp in the output action data for the respective ITS output action, and updating, for each ITS output action to be yet executed at the output means, the time parameter on the basis of the current time and the time stamp in the output action data for the respective ITS output action.
  • Further preferably, the method may further comprise determining, whether a difference between the current time and a time of expiration of the respective ITS output action has become negative, the time of expiration of the respective ITS output action being preferably calculated based on the time stamp and the time parameter, and removing output action data for ITS output actions for which the difference between the current time and the time of expiration of the respective ITS output action has become negative.
  • Further preferably, for each ITS output action to be executed at the output means, said determining the priority parameter is based on a reliability parameter indicative of a reliability of a source instructing or causing the output action based on information attained at the source and/or a reliability of said information attained at the source.
  • Further preferably, said reliability parameter is determined based on current reliability data indicated in the output action data or said reliability parameter is determined based on current reliability data indicated in the output action data being adjusted based on pre-stored historical reliability data.
  • According to another aspect, there may be provided an apparatus for execution control of ITS output actions in one or more output interfaces having output means configured to execute a set of one or more ITS output actions, comprising: data providing means for providing output action data indicative of one or more ITS output actions to be executed at the output means, each ITS output action being associated with one of a plurality of ITS service categories, priority parameter determining means for determining, for each ITS output action, a respective priority parameter indicative of a priority of execution of the respective ITS output action, selecting means for selecting, among the ITS output actions to be executed at the output means, a set of one or more ITS output actions for execution on the basis of the determined priority parameters, wherein each ITS service category is associated with a respective priority parameter range and said respective priority parameter is determined within the corresponding priority parameter range of the ITS service category associated with the respective ITS output action.
  • Preferably, the apparatus is configured to execute a method of one or more of the above-described aspects.
  • According to another aspect, there may be provided computer program product means comprising computer program means for causing an electronic control apparatus to execute the steps of a method according to one or more of the above-described aspects.
  • Brief Description of Drawings
    • Fig. 1 shows an exemplary schematic drawing of an ITS output action arbitration system architecture on a vehicle.
    • Fig. 2 shows an exemplary schematic drawing of an ITS output action arbitration system according to an embodiment of the present invention.
    • Fig. 3 shows an exemplary flow chart of a main process for applying/executing ITS output actions according to an embodiment of the present invention.
    • Fig. 4 shows an exemplary flow chart of an output action classification process of the main process of Fig. 3.
    • Fig. 5 shows an exemplary flow chart of a TTE (time parameter) estimation process of the output action classification process of Fig. 4.
    • Fig. 6 shows an exemplary flow chart of a reliability factor calculation process.
    • Fig. 7 shows an exemplary flow chart of an output action actualization process of the main process of Fig. 3.
    • Fig. 8 shows an exemplary flow chart of an output action prioritization evaluation process of the main process of Fig. 3.
    • Fig. 9 shows a specific example of an ITS output action arbitration system of Fig. 2.
    • Fig. 10 shows an exemplary schematic diagram of a priority range configuration according to an exemplary embodiment of the invention.
    Detailed Description of the Figures and of Preferred Embodiments of the Present Invention
  • Preferred embodiments of the present invention will be described below with reference to the accompanying drawings. It is to be noted that the described features and aspects of the below-described embodiments may be modified or combined to form further embodiments of the present invention.
  • The present invention is related to ITS (Intelligent Transportation System) applications, where such intelligent transport systems (ITS) involve plural advanced applications which, without embodying intelligence as such, aim to provide innovative services relating to different modes of transport and traffic management and enable various users to be better informed and make safer, more coordinated, and 'smarter' use of transport networks. In the below-described embodiments, the aspects of the present invention are described for an on-board system installed on a vehicle but the present invention is not limited to such vehicle on-board systems but can relate to systems of ITS-based units (such as vehicles, ITS information servers, road-side units, mobile devices etc.).
  • According to the present invention, it is assumed that plural ITS applications and/or ITS services are being executed on an ITS system such as the on-board system installed on a vehicle described below. The plural ITS applications and/or ITS services are configured to generate output action instructions for executing one or more service-related or application-related output actions at one or more actuators of the system.
  • Such actuators include Human-Machine-Interface (HMI) actuators such as visual actuators (e.g. screens, displays, signal lights, heads-up-display, touch screens, etc.) for providing visual information to a user, audio actuators (e.g. speakers, headphones, sound generation units etc.) for providing audio information to the user (such as by outputting warning sounds or vocal information) or other means for outputting information to a user. However, the present invention is not limited to actuators such as Human-Machine-Interface (HMI) actuators as described above but it is also conceivable that output actions are executed directly at control actuators for performing control actions (e.g. actuators such as vehicle breaks, acceleration, steering control actuators, etc.).
  • The generated output action instructions may preferably comprise information/data indicating one or more actuators being suitable for executing the respective output action. On the other hand, the information/data indicating one or more actuators being suitable for executing the respective output action may not always necessarily be included in the output action instructions provided by the applications/services but the system may comprise an actuator decision means being configured to determine one or more suitable actuators being suitable for executing the respective output action when analyzing the respective output action on the basis of determining a type of the respective output action and/or on the basis of determining the application/service of origin.
  • Fig. 1 shows an exemplary schematic drawing of an ITS output action arbitration system architecture on a vehicle 1.The system comprises a communication unit 400 and an arbitration means (arbitrator) 100. The arbitration means 100 is communicably connected to a plurality of running ITS service applications 300_1 to 300_N, which are running on an on-board system of the vehicle and which are configured to generate output action instructions being then transmitted to the arbitration means 100. The arbitration means is further communicably connected to a plurality of actuators 200_1 to 200_N (the number of actuators being generally different from the number of ITS service applications, in particular, the number of actuators being generally smaller than the number of ITS service applications). The actuators 200_1 to 200_N comprise one or more HMI interface means for providing information to the user.
  • In Fig. 1, services/applications 300_1 to 300_N may generate instructions for executing output actions (e.g. by providing output action data as discussed in embodiments below) which are then submitted to the arbitration means 100 for output action arbitration/output action prioritization. For executing the output actions, the output execution is instructed by the arbitration means 100 by submitting output action instructions (e.g. control signals, control data, execution requests etc.) to the respective actuator to execute the respective output action. On the other hand, it is also conceivable that data is exchanged via the arbitration means 100 in the other direction, where data and/or signals are submitted from actuators (such as e.g. an HMI receiving an input from the user submitting the respective input data to one or more services/applications) via the arbitration means to the services/applications.
  • This embodiment particularly provides a function to arbitrate by the arbitration means 100 among plural output action instructions from plural sources (i.e. applications or also devices) taking into account a so-called service category of the source associated with the respective output action. In the embodiment, three service categories are exemplarily defined:
    • Safety category: In this category "Safety", the applications require quick reaction (in the order of milliseconds, up to 1 second) from the user or from actuators (e.g. a vehicle controller). Normally this kind of applications has high reliability values due to sensors (external or on-board) used to judge the situation.
    • Eco category: In this category "Eco", the applications do typically not require quick response, but the output actions to be taken normally last longer than output actions associated with the "Safety" category. Normally the applications have mid/high level of reliability.
    • Info category: In this category "Info", the applications do typically not have any reaction time requirements. Nevertheless, the information can be valid for a long period of time. Normally, the applications can have low level of reliability.
  • The present invention is, however, not limited to the above categories and other categories can be defined. Also, the present invention is not limited to the number of three categories and embodiments are also conceivable to be applied to two categories or four or more.
  • The embodiment is specifically related to any (e.g. on-board) electronic control unit ECU (e.g. Car Navigation, ADAS, etc.), which has plural applications and/or plural devices and makes (executes) only one set of one or more ITS output actions at a time. The aim is to provide a way to arbitrate between sources on the base of a service category (e.g. Safety, Eco, and Info as described above) associated with the output action. In the specific case of "Safety", the time to execution and the data source reliability is preferably taken into account. As for the Eco and Info, the geo-relevance and data source reliability can be used. Furthermore, data source reliability can be calculated as the combination of a predefined value associated to the type of source (e.g. information directly sensed by an on-board vehicle sensor has higher reliability than C2X communicated information) and the reliability of the information provided by the source, while time to execution and the geo-relevance can be provided by the source or calculated by a dedicated means. On the base of this information each source can be classified and prioritized. The dedicated arbitration means 100 is configured to take care of arbitrating on the base of the prioritization.
  • Regarding Fig. 1, the services 300_1 to 300_N represents applications which are currently running on the vehicle on-board system. Such applications might include, for example, active road safety applications like road hazard warning, cooperative awareness, etc., traffic Management applications for speed management and cooperative navigation, and location or information based applications.
  • Each service application 300_1 to 300_N is asynchronously (with respect to other applications) generating ITS output action instructions for ITS output actions to be executed in one of the actuators 200_1 to 200_N. An ITS output action is defined as one or more commands to be transferred to the respective actuator for execution of the output action.
  • For example, the services/applications 300_1 to 300_N can generate ITS output action instructions on the base of information coming from the vehicle itself (e.g. from sensors or other information received via a CAN bus 500) or from remote servers (e.g. a traffic management centre) via the communication unit 400 (via a communication network N). The services/applications 300_1 to 300_N can run on the same device or on multiple devices. The services/applications 300_1 to 300_N are connected with the arbitration means 100 by means of an internal vehicle network.
  • As discussed above, the actuators 200_1 to 200_N could be any HMI (such as e.g. speedometer HMI, dashboard HMI, external HMI, etc.) displaying information to the user. The actuators 200_1 to 200_N are connected with the arbitration means 100 by means of the internal vehicle network or remotely (e.g. Wireless connections, WLAN, Bluetooth etc.).
  • The arbitration means 100 is configured to prioritize the instructed output actions asynchronously received from the services/applications 300_1 to 300_N with respect to the actuators 200_1 to 200_N. The arbitration means 100 of this embodiment is exemplarily in charge of controlling output action execution at one or multiple actuators 200_1 to 200_N at the same time. The arbitration means 100 can run on a dedicated computing device or can be part, together with the applications/services, of the same computing device. The arbitration means 100 is connected with other components of the architecture by means of the internal vehicle network or remotely (e.g. Wireless connections, WLAN, Bluetooth etc.).
  • The communication unit 400 enables to send and receive data between the in-vehicle components and/or devices and exterior components or devices, by means of communication media such as cellular, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi etc. The communication means 400 can be realized, for example, by an independent communication module such as a Telematics Control Unit (TCU), as well as by being attached directly to specific devices.
  • Fig. 2 shows an exemplary schematic drawing of an ITS output action arbitration system according to an embodiment of the present invention. In particular, Fig. 2 shows an exemplary schematic drawing of the arbitration means 100 of Fig. 1 connected to the one or more actuators 200, the one or more services/applications 300 and the communication unit 400 via the in-vehicle communication system 500.
  • The arbitration means 100 comprises a calculation unit 110 and a memory unit 120. The calculation unit 110 comprises prioritization means 111, service classification means 112, actuator management means 113 and service management means 114. The memory means 120 is configured to store service action data 121, historical reliability data 122, and configuration data 123.
  • The service management means 114 enables the interaction with the applications/services 300 storing the received ITS output action instructions into the memory unit 120 (e.g. as service action data 121). Also, the service management means 114 notifies the service classification means 112 about new output action data received (including output action instructions).
  • The actuator management means 113 enables the interaction with the actuators 200 by sending the prioritized output action instructions to the concerned actuator 200 for output action execution.
  • The service classification means 112 is configured to, upon the reception of new inputs from a service such as upon receiving output action instructions including output action data, classify the received data accordingly to the actuator on which the output action has to be performed/executed. Also, as described in more detail below, the service classification means 112 is configured to evaluate a Time-To-Event (TTE) associated with an output action, wherein the TTE exemplarily realizes a "time parameter" in the sense of the invention.
  • The prioritization means 111 is configured to evaluate the priority of output actions to be executed upon receiving the respective output action instructions on the base of the classified data. Specifically, the prioritization means 111 is configured to select a set of N output actions to be executed. More specifically, on the basis of the classified data, the prioritization means 111 is configured to evaluate the prioritization of each output action for each requested actuator selecting N output actions. The prioritization means 111 can select/change the output actuator, e.g. on the basis of the calculated priority or on the basis of the service category.
  • In the above, N exemplarily corresponds to the number of output actions that can be executed at a specific actuator. In case of plural actuators, the number N can be different for different actuators. For example in case of plural HMI, one HMI can provide only one information message (e.g. audio information, or visual information such as text and/or image messages) to the user at a time (e.g. N = 1), while another HMI can provide more than one information message to the user at a time (e.g. N = 2 or more). N can be a number that is configurable for each actuator or it can be pre-configured depending on the type of actuator.
  • In the embodiment, it is distinguished between "active output actions" and "inactive output actions" in the embodiment, wherein "inactive output actions" refers to ITS output actions that are not yet executed on any of the actuators 200 after receiving the respective output action instructions and "active output actions" refers to output actions currently being executed on one of the actuators 200.
  • When selecting a set of N output actions to be executed on a respective actuator, one or more "active output actions" can be removed (terminated) so as to allow to execute one or more selected "inactive output actions" in the next step and/or one or more "active output actions" can be comprised in the selected set of output actions, leading to a situation in which the selected "active output actions" are continued to be executed.
  • The service action data 121 stored in the memory unit 120 may include, for each respective received output action instruction, information indicative of a timestamp TS of the respective output action (indicating a time of generation or receipt of the output action instructions), the actuator identifier ID on which the respective output action should be executed, the ID of the requesting service/application as source of the respective output action, the output action type and/or content of the respective output action, the service class (e.g. Safety, Eco, Info) associated with the respective output action, the TTE (time parameter) of the respective output action, the reliability of the respective output action instruction (or more specifically the reliability of the source thereof), the duration T_DUR of the respective output action (the duration of intended execution time of the respective output action) and/or the calculated priority thereof.
  • The historical reliability data 122 includes the historical information about each service/application and the configuration data includes, for example, data indicative of priority ranges (PRIOmax_x - PRIOmin_x) for each service category (e.g. Safety, Eco, Info), TTE ranges (TTEmax_x - TTEmin_x) for each service category, the number of prioritized actions N to be performed at the same time per actuator 200 and the time before an event when an output action should be executed on the actuator (T_INFO_x) for Eco and Info service categories.
  • As discussed above, the communication unit 400 enables the vehicle system to send and receive data through the connected network N with the other devices and systems on both wired and wireless forms. The services/applications 300 represent ITS applications which are currently running in the vehicle system. To each service/application a service category and a reliability value is assigned.
  • Fig. 3 shows an exemplary flow chart of a main process for applying/executing ITS output actions according to an embodiment of the present invention, the main process being preferably executed repeatedly.
  • If new output actions are available, output action instructions including output action data are received at the arbitration means 100 from the services/applications 300 and collected in step S1, i.e. the newly received output action data is stored in the memory means 120. The collected information contains the output action to be performed, the identifier of the actuator on which the action should take place, the associated service category, the reliability of the output action, the duration T_DUR and/or the TTE or the position of the event causing the requested output action. After the output actions have been collected, each output action is classified in a step S2 of an output action classification process (see Fig. 4 for exemplary details).
  • As a next step (or as a first step, if no new output action data is received) S3, available output actions for which output action data is stored in the memory unit 120 are actualized in an output action actualization process (see Fig. 7 for exemplary details).
  • In a next step S4, the respective priority parameters are evaluated/determined for available output actions for which output action data is stored in the memory unit 120.
  • In a next step S5, it is checked on the basis of the calculated priority parameters whether there are output actions to be applied to the actuators 200 for execution thereof, i.e. whether currently "inactive" output actions shall be executed in the next step or whether currently "active" output actions shall be replaced with currently "inactive" output actions for execution thereof.
  • In a final step S6, if step S5 returns YES, output actions are applied to the actuators 200 for execution thereof.
  • Fig. 4 shows an exemplary flow chart of an output action classification process of the main process of Fig. 3.
  • The collected information containing the output action to be performed, the identifier of the actuator (e.g. Actuator ID) on which the action should take place (optional, the actuator may also be determined based on the type of output action and/or based on the service category), the associated service category, the reliability of the output action (optional, e.g. a parameter REL such as REL_INFO or REL_ECO etc.), the duration T_DUR and/or the TTE (optionally, the TTE can be calculated based on other data provided) or the position of the event (e.g. for calculating the TTE) causing the requested output action are input to the process in step S21.
  • The input is time-stamped with the current time CS, i.e. a time stamp TS is associated with the received output action data (step S22; TS = current time CS) indicating the time of receipt of the newly received output action. The time stamp TS is stored in the memory unit 120.
  • In step S23, the service category is checked based on the collected/received data. If the service category is equivalent to "Safety", the TTE (the initial TTE being referred to as TTE_INIT) being provided by the service (i.e. the TTE indicated in the received data) is retained (step S24). On the other hand, if service category is "Eco" or "Info" in step S23 (S23 returns NO), the TTE_INIT is estimated (step S25, please see Fig. 5) by calculating a Time-to-the-event T_EV and subtracting the parameters T_INFO_E for Eco or T_INFO_I for Info, if service category is Eco or Info respectively.
  • The parameters T_INFO_E and T_INFO_I in the above calculation of the TTE represent the minimum time, before the respective event, when the output action should be executed the latest prior to the occurrence of the event (e.g. the event indicated in the output action or causing the generation of the output action). Both, T_INFO_E and T_INFO_I are preferably configurable.
  • Subsequently, the TTE is normalized with respect to a preconfigured value (step S26) and in a next step S26bis, based on the TTE (TTE_INIT), for each output action, a time-to-expire T_EXP is determined as follows on the basis of the time stamp TS of the respective output action, the determined time parameter TTE_INIT (time-to-event) and the intended duration time T_DUR: T_EXP = TS + TTE_INIT + T_DUR
    Figure imgb0001
  • The time-to-expire T_EXP indicates a time of expiry of the output action, i.e. a time after which the output action does not need to be executed anymore (independent of whether it has actually been executed or not).
  • Optionally, the reliability factor of the output action is calculated (step S27, please see exemplary Fig. 6) or alternatively obtained from the collected data, judged on the basis of the source of the output action or judged on the basis of the service category.
  • Regarding step S25 above, Fig. 5 shows an exemplary flow chart of a TTE (time parameter) estimation process of the output action classification process of Fig. 4. In step S251, it is checked whether a TTE (TTE_INIT) is provided already in the collected data or stored in the memory unit 120. Otherwise, the TTE time parameter is determined in the following steps S252 to S255.
  • In step S252, the actual time to the event T_EV is calculated and, in step S253, the service category associated with the output action is determined (i.e. Eco or Info). The time parameter TTE (TTE_INIT) is then determined by subtracting the respective parameter T_INFO_x from the calculated actual time to the event T_EV (i.e. T_INFO_E if the category is Eco, step S254, or T_INFO_I if the category is Info, step S255). For each output action, the calculated time parameter TTE (TTE_INIT) is stored in the memory unit 120.
  • TTE Estimation (step S25)
  • As exemplarily discussed above, the time parameter TTE_INIT is either taken directly from output action data or calculated in the following way: TTE_INIT = T_EV - T_INFO_x s
    Figure imgb0002

    where x={S, E, I} corresponds to Safety, Eco and Info service categories respectively. T_INFO_x is pre-configured or can be configured and corresponds to the time before the event when the action should be executed on the actuator for a service category x. T_EV can be indicated in the output action data or be calculated, e.g., on the basis of a distance between a current position of the vehicle and an event position based on vehicle speed or estimated travel times or by using map data for better accuracy.
  • TTE normalization (step S26)
  • The normalized time parameter TTE value (normTTE) of the time parameter TTE is calculated as follows: normTTE = 1 - TTE_INIT - TTEmin_x / TTEmax_x - TTEmin_x
    Figure imgb0003

    where x={S, E, I} corresponds to Safety, Eco and Info service categories respectively. TTEmax_x and TTEmin_x indicate a time parameter range for the service category x and are configurable and correspond to the maximum and minimum TTE which are considered for each service category.
  • Fig. 6 shows an exemplary flow chart of a reliability factor calculation process for step S27 mentioned above (optional step, the reliability may also be indicated by the output action data or be pre-configured for each service category).
  • In order to calculate the reliability parameter value REL, the historical reliability data 122 can be retrieved from the memory unit 120 (step S271) and a parameter REL_CUR of the information is calculated as the combination of the reliability of the source which is predefined for each source (REL_SOURCE) and the reliability of the information (REL_INFO) calculated by the source itself (step S272): REL_CUR = REL_SOURCE * REL_INFO
    Figure imgb0004

    REL_SOURCE and REL_INFO preferably respectively range from 0 to 1.
  • Finally, the result of the combination (REL_CUR) is averaged by means of historical reliability data (S273) for determining a reliability parameter REL associated with the respective output action. The parameter REL also is a value which ranges from 0 to 1 and it can be calculated (averaged) in step S273 as follows: REL = REL_CUR + REL_CUR_ 1 + REL_CUR_ 2 + REL_CUR_N - 1 / N
    Figure imgb0005

    where N is configurable and REL_CUR_1 + REL_CUR_2 +... REL_CUR_N-1 are stored in the memory unit 120 as historical reliability data 122.
  • Then, the resulting reliability parameter REL is saved into the memory unit 120 for future usage (step S274).
  • Fig. 7 shows an exemplary flow chart of an output action actualization process of the main process of Fig. 3 (which is mainly performed for actualizing output actions already previously received, i.e. in one of the previous main process executions).
  • In step S31, it is checked whether there is a next output action to be actualized. If at least one output action is to be actualized (step S31 returns YES), a parameter T_EXP - current time is calculated (step S32) and it is checked whether the calculated parameter is smaller than zero (i.e. whether the parameter T_EXP - current time is negative) in step S33. If the parameter T_EXP - current time is negative (step S33 returns YES), the respective output action data is removed from the memory unit 120 because it is expired (independent of whether the output action was executed or not).
  • Otherwise, if step S33 returns NO and it is determined that the output action is not yet expired, the time parameter currently stored TTE is updated (step S34) on the basis of the current time, the time stamp TS and the initial TTE_INIT as follows: TTE_updated = TS + TTE_INIT - current time CS
    Figure imgb0006

    If the so calculated TTE_updated is negative, the TTE_updated is set to TTE_updated = 0 (step S37) and on the basis of the positive TTE_updated of step S36 (or the TTE-updated = 0 of step S37), the updated normalized TTE value normTTE is calculated in step S38 (similar to the formula of step S26): normTTE = 1 - TTE_updated - TTEmin_x / TTEmax_x - TTEmin_x
    Figure imgb0007
  • As next step the prioritization is performed (step S4 of Fig. 3) to judge if some actions need to be executed on the actuators (step S5) and in this case which of actions should be selected. Referring further to the next step in the main process, step S4 of Fig. 3, Fig. 8 shows an exemplary flow chart of an output action prioritization evaluation process of the main process of Fig. 3.
  • For each actuator 200 (step S41), at first, it is checked if there are still inactive output actions which need to be executed (step S42). If no inactive output action is present (step S42 returns NO), the duration time T_DUR of all currently active output actions (AA) is checked for expiration against a timer TA indicating the time of execution of the respective active output action (step S43) in that it is checked whether TA > T_DUR of the active respective output action. If the step S43 returns YES, the respective active output action is removed from the memory and execution is terminated (step S45).
  • If new output actions are present (step S42 returns YES), for each output action (active and inactive) determined in step S44 the priority parameter is calculated (step S46) based on the service category.
  • The priority parameter Prio of an output action is calculated following the subsequent formula: Prio = PRIOmin_x + PRIOmax_x - PRIOmin_x * normTTE * REL
    Figure imgb0008

    where x={S, E, I} corresponds to Safety, Eco and Info service categories, respectively.
    PRIOmax_x and PRIOmin_x are configurable and correspond to the maximum and minimum priority for each service category. Specifically, the priority parameter is calculated based on a priority parameter range PRIO_max_x to PRIO_min_x depending on the associated service category. The calculation of the parameters normTTE and REL (optional) was discussed above.
  • In a next step S44, among all output actions, N output actions are selected based on the calculated priority parameters for execution thereof. The selection can be performed, e.g., by taking the actions with the N highest priorities or using a different approach.
  • Each selected output action (SA) is checked against the currently active output actions AA. In the case that the priority parameter of a selected output action SA is higher than the priority of the active output action AA and the active output action AA has been applied to the actuator for the minimum time Tmin_AA (step S49, TA > Tmin_AA returns YES) then the selected output action SA becomes an active output action to be executed (S49b) and a timer TA for the new active output action is reset to 0. Otherwise, nothing is changed and the currently active output action remains to be executed (if step S49 returns NO).
  • Fig. 9 shows a specific example of an ITS output action arbitration system of Fig. 2. Exemplarily, the system has two HMI actuators, the dashboard HMI 200_1 and the general HMI 200_2 (such as e.g. a Speedometer HMI 200_2 as referred to in the following), and currently there are running three applications on the system having provided three output action instructions relating to the output action for indicating "motorcycle approaching indication" 300_1 (e.g. instructing the output action of displaying a warning that a motorcycle is approaching, related to the Safety category), "green light optimal speed advisory" 300_2 (e.g. instructing the output action of displaying a recommended speed for arriving at green traffic lights, related with the Eco category) and general "traffic information" 300_3 (e.g. instructing the output action of displaying information on a traffic jam 3km ahead of the vehicle, related with the Info category). The REL_SOURCE parameters may exemplarily be given as 1 for the output action instruction 300_1, as 0,8 for the output action 300_2 and as 0,5 for the output action 300_3.
  • Exemplarily, the configuration data 123 may indicate the following priority range parameters: PRIO_min_Safety = 60 and PRIO_max_Safety = 100, PRIO_min_Eco = 30 and PRIO_max_Eco = 70 and PRIO_min_Info = 0 and PRIO_max_Info = 35. Fig. 10 shows an exemplary schematic diagram of such exemplary priority range configuration according to an exemplary embodiment of the invention. In preferred embodiments, the priority ranges for the different service categories may be different and even more preferably different but overlapping as shown in Fig. 10.
  • Moreover, regarding the TTE ranges, the following settings can be exemplarily set: TTEmin_Safety = 0,1 s and TTEmax_Safety = 2 s, TTEmin_Eco = 10 s and TTEmax_Eco = 180 s, and TTEmin_Info = 10 s and TTEmax_Info = 10800 s. Additional settings in the following calculation example are set as N = 1 (number of output actions per actuator is one), T_INFO_E = 10 s, T_INFO_I = 60 s and the minimal execution time for active output actions T_MIN_AA(N) = 10 s.
  • In the following, it is exemplarily assumed that the applications 300_1 and 300_3 request the output actions simultaneously at a time T0 and application 300_2 requests the output action at a time T1 > T0 (e.g. T1 = T0 + 6 s) with the inputs: Actuator ID is Speedometer HMI 200_2, TTE = 1,5 s, REL_INFO = 0,9 and T_DUR = 5 s for output action 1 of application 300_1; Actuator ID is Dashboard HMI 200_1, TTEposition = 300 m from vehicle position (x,y,z), REL_INFO = 1 and T_DUR = 30 s for output action 2 of application 300_2; and Actuator ID is Dashboard HMI 200_1, TTEposition = 3km from vehicle position (x,y,z), REL_INFO = 0,4 and T_DUR = 30 s for output action 3 of application 300_3. Exemplarily, no historical data is currently present and considered.
  • Then, the output action 1 from application 300_1 has a normTTE_1 = 1 - (1,5 - 0,1)/(2 - 0,1) = 0,26 and a priority parameters prio_1 = 60 + (100 - 60)*0,26*1*0,9 = 69,36 and the output action 3 from application 300_3 has a normTTE_1 = 1 - (3600 - 10)/(10800 - 10) = 0,33 and a priority parameters prio_3 = 0 + (35 - 0)*0,33*0,5*0,4 = 2,31. As a result, since the actuator IDs are different and no active actions are present, at time T0, the both output actions 1 and 3 will be executed, output action 1 at the Speedometer HMI 200_2 and output action 3 at the Dashboard HMI 200_1.
  • However, at T1 = T0 + 6s, when output action 2 is received and is in conflict with output action 3 since the Dashboard HMI 200_1 can only execute one action at a time (N = 1), the output action 2 from application 300_2 has a normTTE_2 = 1 - (15 - 10)/(180 - 10) = 0,97 and a priority parameters prio_2 = 30 + (70 - 30)*0,97*0,8*1 = 61,04 and the output action 3 from application 300_3 has a normTTE_1 = 1 - (3594 - 10)/(10800 - 10) = 0,32 and a priority parameters prio_3 = 0 + (35 - 0)*0,32*0,5*0,4 = 2,24.
  • As a result, the priority of the new output action 2 is higher and could be replaced with the output action 3. However, due to the optional step S49 described above, the output action 2 is still not yet replaced with output action 3 because the output action 3 has not yet been executed for the minimum time T_MIN_AA(N) = 10 s. On the other hand, due to step S43, the output action 1 is already removed because the T_DUR thereof has expired.
  • Note that the respective apparatuses and means including the actuators 200_1 to 200_N, the arbitration means 100, the services/applications 300_1 to 300_N, the communication unit and the respective functions provided thereto, which are shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, may be implemented as hardware, software and/or combinations thereof. Further, the arbitration means 100 may be realized as computing device or part of a computing device, which may include a CPU (processing means) and a memory (such as RAM, ROM, flash devices and/or hard disk drive). The programs may be previously stored in the memory 120 or an external storage apparatus, or they may be loaded when necessary from another apparatus via a storage medium or a communication medium (such as the network N, or the Internet 10; or a carrier wave or a digital signal that propagates through one of the above-mentioned networks).
  • Features, components and specific details of the structures of the above-described embodiments may be exchanged or combined to form further embodiments optimized for the respective application. As far as those modifications are readily apparent for an expert skilled in the art they shall be disclosed implicitly by the above description without specifying explicitly every possible combination, for the sake of conciseness of the present description.

Claims (15)

  1. Method for execution control of ITS output actions in one or more output interfaces having output means configured to execute a set of one or more ITS output actions,
    the method comprising:
    - providing output action data indicative of one or more ITS output actions to be executed at the output means, each ITS output action being associated with one of a plurality of ITS service categories,
    - determining, for each ITS output action, a respective priority parameter (Prio) indicative of a priority of execution of the respective ITS output action, and
    - selecting, among the output actions to be executed at the output means, a set of one or more ITS output actions for execution on the basis of the determined priority parameters,
    wherein each ITS service category is associated with a respective priority parameter range (PRIOMIN - PRIOMAX) and said respective priority parameter is determined within the corresponding priority parameter range of the ITS service category associated with the respective ITS output action.
  2. Method according to claim 1, characterized by
    interrupting executing an active ITS output action being executed at the output means and starting executing an inactive second ITS output action to be executed at the output means, if a comparison of the priority parameter determined for the active ITS output action and the priority parameter determined for the inactive ITS output action indicates that the inactive ITS output action has a higher priority; or
    interrupting executing an active ITS output action being executed at the output means and starting executing an inactive second ITS output action to be executed at the output means, if a comparison of the priority parameter determined for the active ITS output action and the priority parameter determined for the inactive ITS output action indicates that the inactive ITS output action has a higher priority and a minimum execution time of executing the active ITS output action has expired.
  3. Method according to claim 1 or 2, characterized in that
    priority parameter ranges of at least two ITS service categories are different.
  4. Method according to at least one of the preceding claims, characterized in that priority parameter ranges of at least two ITS service categories are overlapping.
  5. Method according to at least one of the preceding claims, characterized in that,
    for each ITS output action to be executed at the output means, said determining the priority parameter is based on a time parameter (TTE), which is indicative of a time period to an event being related to the respective ITS output action or which is indicative of a time period (TEV - TINFO) to a time at which the respective ITS output action is to be executed at the latest prior to the event being related to the respective ITS output action.
  6. Method according to claim 5, characterized in that
    the respective time parameter (TTE) is indicated in the output action data for the respective ITS output action, or
    the time (TEV) to the event being related to the respective ITS output action is indicated in the output action data for the respective ITS output action and the time parameter (TTE) is calculated based on the time (TEV) to the event being related to the respective ITS output action and a minimum execution time period (TINFO), wherein the minimum execution time period (TINFO) indicates a minimum time period between execution of the ITS output action and the time (TEV) of the event.
  7. Method according to claim 6, characterized in that
    one or more ITS service categories are associated with respective minimum execution time periods (TINFO_ECO, TINFO_INFO), and, for a respective ITS output action, the time parameter (TTE) is calculated on the basis of the minimum execution time period (TINFO_ECO, TINFO_INFO) associated with the ITS service category of the respective ITS output action.
  8. Method according to at least one of claims 5 to 7, characterized in that,
    for each ITS output action to be executed at the output means, said determining the priority parameter is based on a normalized time parameter (normTTE) being normalized based on the respective time parameter (TTE) and a respective time parameter range (TTEMIN - TTEMAX).
  9. Method according to claim 8, characterized in that
    each ITS service category is associated with a respective time parameter range and said normalized time parameter is normalized based on the time parameter range being associated with the ITS service category of the respective ITS output action.
  10. Method according to at least one of claims 5 to 9, characterized by
    including, upon receiving output action data for a respective output action, a time stamp (TS) in the output action data for the respective ITS output action, and
    updating, for each ITS output action to be yet executed at the output means, the time parameter on the basis of the current time (CS) and the time stamp (TS) in the output action data for the respective ITS output action.
  11. Method according to claim 10, characterized by
    determining, whether a difference between the current time (CS) and a time of expiration (TEXP) of the respective ITS output action has become negative, the time of expiration (TEXP) of the respective ITS output action being calculated based on the time stamp (TS) and the time parameter (TTE), and
    removing output action data for ITS output actions for which the difference between the current time (CS) and the time of expiration (TEXP) of the respective ITS output action has become negative.
  12. Method according to at least one of the preceding claims, characterized in that,
    for each ITS output action to be executed at the output means, said determining the priority parameter is based on a reliability parameter (RELCUR) indicative of a reliability (RELSOURCE) of a source instructing or causing the output action based on information attained at the source and/or a reliability (RELINFO) of said information attained at the source.
  13. Method according to claim 12, characterized in that
    said reliability parameter (RELCUR) is determined based on current reliability data indicated in the output action data or said reliability parameter (RELCUR) is determined based on current reliability data indicated in the output action data being adjusted based on pre-stored historical reliability data.
  14. Apparatus for execution control of ITS output actions in one or more output interfaces having output means configured to execute a set of one or more ITS output actions, comprising:
    - data providing means for providing output action data indicative of one or more ITS output actions to be executed at the output means, each ITS output action being associated with one of a plurality of ITS service categories,
    - priority parameter determining means for determining, for each ITS output action, a respective priority parameter (Prio) indicative of a priority of execution of the respective ITS output action,
    - selecting means for selecting, among the ITS output actions to be executed at the output means, a set of one or more ITS output actions for execution on the basis of the determined priority parameters,
    wherein each ITS service category is associated with a respective priority parameter range (PRIOMIN - PRIOMAX) and said respective priority parameter is determined within the corresponding priority parameter range of the ITS service category associated with the respective ITS output action.
  15. Computer program product means comprising computer program means for causing an electronic control apparatus to execute the steps of a method according to at least one of claims 1 to 13.
EP12199343.0A 2012-12-24 2012-12-24 Method and apparatus for execution control of output actions in one or more output interfaces Not-in-force EP2747052B1 (en)

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Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20070135995A1 (en) * 2003-10-17 2007-06-14 Shin Kikuchi Mobile navigation device, control method and control program therefore
US20080114533A1 (en) 2006-11-09 2008-05-15 General Motors Corporation Method of providing a navigational route for a vehicle navigation system
US20080125103A1 (en) 2006-11-27 2008-05-29 Motorola, Inc. Prioritizing and presenting service offerings within a mobile device based upon a data driven user context

Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20070135995A1 (en) * 2003-10-17 2007-06-14 Shin Kikuchi Mobile navigation device, control method and control program therefore
US20080114533A1 (en) 2006-11-09 2008-05-15 General Motors Corporation Method of providing a navigational route for a vehicle navigation system
US20080125103A1 (en) 2006-11-27 2008-05-29 Motorola, Inc. Prioritizing and presenting service offerings within a mobile device based upon a data driven user context

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