Fieldbuses targeted to highly dependable distributed embedded systems are shifting from bus to star topologies. Surprisingly, despite the efforts into this direction, engineers lack of analyses that quantitatively characterize the system reliability achievable by buses and stars. Thus, to guide engineers in developing adequate bus and star fieldbuses, this work models, quantifies and compares the system reliability provided by simplex buses and stars for the case of the Controller Area Network (CAN). It clarifies how relevant dependability-related aspects affect reliability, refuting some intuitive ideas, and revealing some previously unknown bus and star benefits.
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