Model-based engineering in the embedded systems domain: an industrial survey on the state-of-practice

  • Grischa Liebel
  • Nadja Marko
  • Matthias Tichy
  • Andrea Leitner
  • Jörgen Hansson
Special Section Paper

Abstract

Model-based engineering (MBE) aims at increasing the effectiveness of engineering by using models as important artifacts in the development process. While empirical studies on the use and the effects of MBE in industry exist, only few of them target the embedded systems domain. We contribute to the body of knowledge with an empirical study on the use and the assessment of MBE in that particular domain. The goal of this study is to assess the current state-of-practice and the challenges the embedded systems domain is facing due to shortcomings with MBE. We collected quantitative data from 113 subjects, mostly professionals working with MBE, using an online survey. The collected data spans different aspects of MBE, such as the used modeling languages, tools, notations, effects of MBE introduction, or shortcomings of MBE. Our main findings are that MBE is used by a majority of all participants in the embedded systems domain, mainly for simulation, code generation, and documentation. Reported positive effects of MBE are higher quality and improved reusability. Main shortcomings are interoperability difficulties between MBE tools, high training effort for developers and usability issues. Our study offers valuable insights into the current industrial practice and can guide future research in the fields of systems modeling and embedded systems.

Keywords

Model-based engineering Model-driven engineering Embedded systems Industry Modeling Empirical study  State-of-practice 

References

  1. 1.
    Agner, L.T.W., Soares, I.W., Stadzisz, P.C., Simão, J.M.: A brazilian survey on UML and model-driven practices for embedded software development. J. Syst. Softw. 86(4), 997–1005 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Anda, B., Hansen, K., Gullesen, I., Thorsen, H.K.: Experiences from introducing uml-based development in a large safety-critical project. Empir. Softw. Eng. 11(4), 555–581 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Baker, P., Loh, S., Weil, F.: Model-driven engineering in a large industrial context—motorola case study. In: Proceedings of ACM/IEEE 8th International Conference on Model Driven Engineering Languages and Systems (2005)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Brambilla, M., Cabot, J., Wimmer, M.: Model-Driven Software Engineering in Practice. Morgan and Claypool Publishers, San Rafael (2012)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    CRYSTAL: Crystal-critical system engineering acceleration. http://www.crystal-artemis.eu (2014)
  6. 6.
    Dobing, B., Parsons, J.: Dimensions of uml diagram use: a survey of practitioners. J. Database Manag. 19(1), 1–18 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ebert, C., Jones, C.: Embedded software: facts, figures, and future. Computer 42(4), 42–52 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Espinoza, H., Cancila, D., Selic, B., Grard, S.: Challenges in combining sysml and marte for model-based design of embedded systems. In: Model Driven Architecture-Foundations and Applications, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 5562, pp. 98–113 (2009)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Fisher, R.A.: On the interpretation of \(\chi ^2\) from contingency tables, and the calculation of \(p\). J. R. Stat. Soc. 85(1), 87–94 (1922)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Forward, A., Lethbridge, T.C.: Problems and opportunities for model-centric versus code-centric software development: a survey of software professionals. In: Proceedings of 2008 International Workshop on Models in Software Engineering (MiSE) (2008)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    France, R., Rumpe, B.: Model-driven development of complex software: a research roadmap. In: 2007 Future of Software Engineering, FOSE ’07, pp. 37–54 (2007)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Glinz, M.: A glossary of requirements engineering terminology. In: Standard Glossary of the Certified Professional for Requirements Engineering (CPRE) Studies and Exam, Version, vol 1 (2011)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Grossman, M., Aronson, J.E., McCarthy, R.V.: Does UML make the grade? Insights from the software development community. Inf. Softw. Technol. 47(6), 383–397 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Howe, D.: Free Online Dictionary of Computing. http://foldoc.org/
  15. 15.
    Hutchinson, J., Rouncefield, M., Whittle, J.: Model-driven engineering practices in industry. In: Proceedings of 33rd International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) (2011)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Hutchinson, J., Whittle, J., Rouncefield, M.: Model-driven engineering practices in industry: social, organizational and managerial factors that lead to success or failure. Part B. Sci. Comput. Program. 89(0), 144–161 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hutchinson, J., Whittle, J., Rouncefield, M., Kristoffersen, S.: Empirical assessment of mde in industry. In: Proceedings of 33rd International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) (2011)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    IEEE Standard Glossary of Software Engineering Terminology: IEEE Std 610.12-1990, pp. 1–84 (1990)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    IEEE Standard for Information Technology- Standardized Application Environment Profile (AEP)-POSIX Realtime and Embedded Application Support. IEEE Std 1003.13-2003 (Revision of IEEE Std 1003.13-1998) pp. i–164 (2004)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    IEC 62531:2012(E) (IEEE Std 1850-2010): Standard for Property Specification Language (PSL). IEC 62531:2012(E) (IEEE Std 1850-2010) pp. 1–184 (2012)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Karsai, G., Neema, S., Sharp, D.: Model-driven architecture for embedded software: a synopsis and an example. Sci. Comput. Program. 73(1), 26–38 (2008)MathSciNetCrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Kirstan, S., Zimmermann, J.: Evaluating costs and benefits of model-based development of embedded software systems in the car industry—results of a qualitative case study. In: Proceedings of Workshop “From code centric to model centric: Evaluating the effectiveness of MDD (C2M:EEMDD)” (2010)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Leiner, D.J.: Too fast, too straight, too weird: Post hoc identification of meaningless data in internet surveys. http://www.researchgate.net/publication/258997762_Too_Fast_too_Straight_too_Weird_Post_Hoc_Identification_of_Meaningless_Data_in_Internet_Surveys (2013)
  24. 24.
    Liebel, G., Marko, N., Tichy, M., Leitner, A., Hansson, J.: Assessing the state-of-practice of model-based engineering in the embedded systems domain. In: Proceedings of ACM/IEEE 17th International Conference on Model Driven Engineering Languages and Systems (2014)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Marko, N., Liebel, G., Sauter, D., Lodwich Aleksander Tichy, M., Leitner, A., Hansson, J.: Model-based engineering for embedded systems in practice. Technical report, University of Gothenburg (2014)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Mohagheghi, P., Dehlen, V.: Where is the proof?—A review of experiences from applying MDE in industry. In: Proceedings of 4th European Conference on Model Driven Architecture-Foundations and Applications (ECMDA-FA) (2008)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Mohagheghi, P., Gilani, W., Stefanescu, A., Fernandez, M., Nordmoen, B., Fritzsche, M.: Where does model-driven engineering help? Experiences from three industrial cases. Softw. Syst. Model. 12(3), 619–639 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Niesel, K.: Volvo Car Group, Software center Day Skåne. http://www.software-center.se/digitalAssets/1506/1506474_sw-center-sk-ne-volvo.pdf (2015)
  29. 29.
    Object Management Group: UML Profile for MARTE: Modeling and Analysis of Real-Time Embedded Systems. http://www.omg.org/spec/MARTE/1.1/PDF (2011)
  30. 30.
    Object Management Group: OMG Unified Modeling Language 2.5. http://www.omg.org/spec/UML/2.5/PDF (2015)
  31. 31.
    Pfleeger, S.L., Kitchenham, B.A.: Principles of survey research: Part 1: Turning lemons into lemonade. In: SIGSOFT Software Engingeering Notes, vol. 26, no. 6, pp. 16–18 (2001)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Punter, T., Ciolkowski, M., Freimut, B.G., John, I.: Conducting on-line surveys in software engineering. In: Proceedings of the 2003 International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering (ISESE) (2003)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Stachowiak, H. (ed.): Allgemeine Modelltheorie. Springer, Berlin (1973)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Torchiano, M., Tomassetti, F., Ricca, F., Tiso, A., Reggio, G.: Preliminary findings from a survey on the md* state of the practice. In: Proceedings of 2011 International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement (ESEM) (2011)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Whittle, J., Hutchinson, J., Rouncefield, M., Burden, H., Heldal, R.: Industrial adoption of model-driven engineering: are the tools really the problem? In: Proceedings of ACM/IEEE 16th International Conference on Model Driven Engineering Languages and Systems (2013)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Wohlin, C., Runeson, P., Höst, M., Ohlsson, M.C., Regnell, B., Wesslén, A.: Experimentation in Software Engineering: An Introduction. Kluwer Academic, Berlin (2000)CrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Woodcock, J., Larsen, P.G., Bicarregui, J., Fitzgerald, J.: Formal methods: practice and experience. ACM Comput. Surv. 41(4), 19:1–19:36 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Grischa Liebel
    • 1
  • Nadja Marko
    • 2
  • Matthias Tichy
    • 3
  • Andrea Leitner
    • 2
  • Jörgen Hansson
    • 4
  1. 1.Software Engineering DivisionChalmers University of Technology and University of GothenburgGothenburgSweden
  2. 2.Virtual Vehicle Research CenterGrazAustria
  3. 3.Institute of Software EngineeringUniversity of UlmUlmGermany
  4. 4.School of InformaticsUniversity of SkövdeSkövdeSweden

Personalised recommendations