Incremental Prototyping Technology for Embedded Real-Time Systems


IPTES - 5570 + 7811

Keywords embedded real-time systems, safety-critical software, real-time applications, incremental heterogeneous prototyping, risk-driven development


Start Date: 01-OCT-90 / Duration: 36 months

[ contact / participants ]


Objectives and Approach

Incremental prototyping is a way of coping with constantly increasing complexity and risks associated with the industrial development of embedded computer systems. The technology of incremental prototyping addresses the development needs of large, distributed and multi-supplier embedded real-time systems. As a technical basis, the semi-formal graphical notation SA/RT, the formal graphical high-level Petri nets, the formal textual language VDM-SL and the object-oriented paradigm have been harnessed.

The methodology developed and the supporting tools have been evaluated in a number of case studies for selected safety-critical, real-time process control applications in industry.

Progress and Results

In the project prototype tools, pre-competitive tools and methodological guidelines have been developed to support incremental prototyping and demonstrator applications have been developed using these tools. The major results of the project have been:

Methodological guidelines for the use of Boehm's spiral life-cycle model
These guidelines cover all novel aspects and concepts proposed by Boehm, such as Quality and Risk Function Deployment (QFD/RFD). They have been used and evaluated by the demonstrators of the project.
Platform and theoretical foundation of the IPTES toolset
The IPTES Toolset supports the use of incremental, heterogeneous and distributed prototypes in the software development process. A software development platform, environment architecture and a theoretical formal basis has been defined that matches the specific requirement for this advanced prototyping tool.
An executable graphical end-user language with precise formal semantics
The semi-formal Ward & Mellor SA/SD-RT notation for Logical Models has been extended with VDM-SL for mini-specifications and has been given precise formal semantics by a mapping from the graphical notation to the IPTES kernel notation: High-Level Timed Petri Nets (HLTPN).
Tools for heterogeneous prototyping
The IPTES Heterogeneous Model Toolset supports prototyping of embedded real-time system models (both logical and physical models) by graphically animating several different levels of abstraction (eg specification, design and implementation levels).
Distributed and centralised versions of the IPTES toolset
The IPTES Toolsets support the SA/SD-RT Logical Models. The tools have proved the validity of the environment architecture with a strict separation of the end-user graphical notation and the execution performed by the internal high-level timed Petri net execution mechanism.
Support for C-code activation from SA/SD-RT models
This facility allows activation of (calling) C-code procedures from IPTES VDM-SL mini-specifications, which can help in re-using (parts of) existing target code.
Executable logical models for the demonstrator applications
Executable SA/RT Logical Models have been developed for all demonstrator applications using the prototype tools. Valuable feedback to the development of the pre-competitive IPTES Tool-set has been given.
Theoretical results for high-level timed petri-nets
The analysis of properties of models expressed in the IPTES kernel model formalism (HLTPN) has the potential for providing advanced verification support for the end-user graphical notations.
Dissemination
Project results have been made available to the industry and research communities during the project. A large number of articles for international conferences have been produced and published to document the project results, just as an IPTES Interest Group of potential IPTES end-users has been established to raise the industrial awareness of IPTES.
An entire issue of the journal Real-Time Systems (RTS - Volume 5, No. 2/3, May 1993 - by Kluwer Academic Publishers) has been devoted to IPTES. The articles deals with the theoretical formal foundation of IPTES and its implications on embedded real-time systems design.

Exploitation

In addition to the exploitation of results outside the IPTES consortium several project partners are planning to use or are already using results of the IPTES project in their internal software development.

IFAD VDM-SL Toolbox
IFAD has succeeded in early commercialisation of IPTES results. Toolbox is a set of tools that support the development of formal software specifications in the VDM-SL specification language. It is unique compared to other tools in the market by supporting the execution of VDM-SL specifications. The toolbox has been commercially available since December 1992 and is also being used in other Esprit and ESSI projects.
IPTES Document Server
The IPTES Document Server supports version management, access control and distribution of project documentation through e-mail. It has been a valuable result of the IPTES project and its use in IPTES has greatly reduced the administrative overhead as well as enhancing the overall document quality be ensuring consistency among the documents.
The document server is currently being used by other CEC projects (Esprit/Comett) and activities are planned to promote the document server to a wider range of CEC funded projects.
Public availability
An information server (non-ftp) will be put into operation so that interested parties can obtain documents and tools at a nominal cost covering administration and copying. For further information, please e-mail to iptes@ifad.dk.

CONTACT POINT

Mr. Benny Graff Mortensen
IFAD
Forskerparken 10
DK - 5230 Odense M
tel: + 45/ 65 93 23 00
fax: + 45/ 65 93 29 99
email: benny@ifad.dk

Participants

IFAD - DK - C
VTT - TECHNICAL RESEARCH CENTRE - SF - P
POLITECNICO DI MILANO - I - A
MARI COMPUTER SYSTEMS LIMITED - UK - P
UNIVERSIDAD POLITECNICA DE
MADRID - E - A
TELESYSTEMES - F - P
TELEFONICA INVESTIGACION
Y DESARROLLO - E - P
CEA/LETI - F - P
ENEA - I - A
RNT - SF - P


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IPTES - 5570 + 7811, December 1993


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html version of synopsis by Nick Cook