Mastering Complexity: Training Platform for Model-based Development

They regulate the brake pressure in cars, control blood pumps or monitor large industrial plants - embedded systems must work correctly and safely. The Software Systems Engineering working group at the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) and its partners in the SPEDiT project have developed and validated a training platform for the model-based development of embedded systems.


Software development for embedded systems has become more and more complex in recent years: The functionality of the systems has increased considerably and they are closely networked with other systems. Prominent examples are the many networked control units and sensors in today's passenger cars.


With their research in the SPEDiT project, the scientists in Professor Pohl's working group are helping developers of embedded systems to better master this complexity. SPEDiT is a technology transfer project funded by the Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Its aim is to establish the development methodology worked out in the previous SPES projects in German companies.


From Research to Practice


The basic idea of the SPES approach (Software Platform Embedded Systems) is a consistent, model-based approach to software development. For this purpose, the entire system is systematically modelled before it is implemented. Thus, the planned functions and their dependencies are mapped consistently and misunderstandings and ambiguities can be clarified at an early stage, for example. Ideally, the models are used throughout all phases of development, i.e. from requirements analysis and architectural design to implementation and quality assurance. In this way, developers ensure that every critical requirement is functionally implemented and suitably tested.


In order to bring this model-based development method into daily engineering practice, the Essen scientists have set up a training platform together with their research partners. With the extensive learning material, system architects, requirements engineers, test engineers, software architects and programmers can train themselves independently.


Particular Benefit for Interdisciplinary Teams


At the automotive supplier Schaeffler, the researchers were able to test their approach and the learning materials for their practical suitability. "We accompanied a development in the context of a new drive axle for electric vehicles," reports Dr. Thorsten Weyer from paluno. "During this time, we were regularly on site and coached the employees in the participating departments. The SPES methodology has proven itself, especially for interdisciplinary teams". The manufacturer of heart support systems, Berlin Heart, also benefits from the model-based SPES methodology by using it for the efficient and safe development of its systems.


Public Closing Event


SPEDiT will end in March 2019. On April 12, Schaeffler will hold the final event in Herzogenaurach with a live demonstration of the results. Interested parties can register for the public event by March 15.