The Development and Evaluation of a New Generation of Real Time Software Engineering Design Tools for Handling the Temporal Aspects of Industrial Applications of Information Technology

LIMITS - CP94-1577

Keywords: real time programming, software engineering, design tools

Start Date: 2 January 95 / Status: finished / Duration: 24 months

[ participants / contact]

Objectivies and Approach

This project is producing a fully documented and validated suite of real time software engineering tools, operating on standard computing platforms. The tools, referred to as "LIMITS", operate in association with a standard OMT tool available from IDE Ltd. Models of a proposed system are developed with the standard OMT design procedures and, once complete, they can be exported to LIMITS. The timing parameters must be provided by the user, using either actual or estimated values. LIMITS then provides the formal, mathematical analysis of the proposed system in terms of its temporal execution. The user can then animate or simulate the proposed system and obtain full information related to all possible timings and interactions.

The project has built upon extensive theoretical work in real time software modelling and formal analysis. A key aspect of the project has also been the adoption of software engineering guidelines specifically developed for the work, which require the use of an object modelling design paradigm and also ensure adherence to all major recognised software engineering standards.

Progress and Results

The alpha and beta versions of LIMITS have been completed within their planned schedules and the latter has been released to five test sites where the tools are being evaluated by a series of interested industrialists. Particular interest has been shown from the safety critical community. LIMITS is also being used for temporal evaluation in other tools, notable, T-CAKE, a temporal knowledge acquisition tool being built by one of the partners in association with the UK company COGSYS.

Information Dissemination Activities and/or Exploitation

The LIMITS system has been presented at a series of key events throughout the world, e.g. at a workshop in the IFAC world congress held in San Francisco in 1996. A full course of the use of LIMITS has been prepared and now presented in academic institutions. The academic partners have prepared detailed case studies to illustrate the use of LIMITS in areas where real time performance is important, such as the aerospace industry, communication and manufacturing.

The LIMITS tools are planned to be marketed by the same company which markets the associated OMT tool set as part of the various extensions available.


MiTime Limited
Innovation Centre
Singleton Park
UK-Swansea SA2 8PP, UK

EU Partners

MiTime Limited, UK
Delft University of Technology, NL

Non-EU Partners

Tallinn Technical University, EE
Kaunas University of Technology, LT


Prof. M. G. Rodd
Tel: +44 1792 295 568
Fax: +44 1792 295 686

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LIMITS - CP94-1577, May 1997

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html version of synopsis by Nick Cook