[preprint] Message Flow Analysis with Complex Causal Links for Distributed ROS 2 Systems

I’m happy to share this new paper:

It is a significantly improved ROS 2 version of the prototype I made for ROS 1 almost 3 years ago, now using ros2_tracing (see also the ros2_tracing paper).

The method can extract and visualize the path of a message across a ROS 2 system. It works for distributed systems (any number of hosts!), and also supports user-level links between input and output messages. There’s also a visualization of the state of the executor instances over time.

See the example below based on the Autoware reference system split over two hosts.

Finally, I’m happy to say that the ros2_tracing paper was accepted for publication in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters!

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@christophebedard happy to review a PR to add this as a report to the reference_system :wink:

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