Collaborative Modelling and Co-simulation in Engineering and Computing Curricula

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 12271)


The successful development of Cyber-Physical Systems (CPSs) requires collaborative working across diverse engineering disciplines, notations and tools. However, classical computing curricula rarely provide opportunities for students to look beyond the confines of one set of methods. In this paper, we report approaches to raising students’ awareness of the integrative role of digital technology in future systems development. Building on research in open but integrated tool chains for CPS engineering, we consider how this has been realised in two degree programmes in Denmark and the UK, and give preliminary findings. These include the need for ensuring stability of research-quality tools, and observations on how this material is presented in Computing versus Engineering curricula.



We are grateful to many colleagues and students at both our universities. We acknowledge the European Union’s support for the INTO-CPS and HUBCAP projects (Grant Agreements 644047 and 872698). We are especially grateful to the Poul Due Jensen Foundation, which has funded subsequent work taking co-modelling and co-simulation forward into the engineering of digital twins.


  1. 1.
    Made Smarter Review: UK Government. Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (2017)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Barnes, J., et al.: Designing a portfolio-oriented curriculum using problem based learning. In: Proceedings of the 4th Conference on Computing Education Practice 2020, CEP 2020. Association for Computing Machinery, New York (2020).
  3. 3.
    Bastian, J., Clauss, C., Wolf, S., Schneider, P.: Master for co-simulation using FMI. In: 8th International Modelica Conference (2011)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Boehm, B., Mobasser, S.K.: System thinking: educating T-shaped software engineers. In: Proceedings of IEEE/ACM 37th IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering, pp. 333–342 (2015)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Broenink, J.F., et al.: Design support and tooling for dependable embedded control software. In: Proceedings of Serene 2010 International Workshop on Software Engineering for Resilient Systems, pp. 77–82. ACM (2010)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Broenink, J.F., et al.: Methodological guidelines 3. Technical report, The DESTECS Project (INFSO-ICT-248134) (2012)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Field, J.: Social Capital and Lifelong Learning. The Policy Press (2005)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Fitzgerald, J., Gamble, C., Larsen, P.G., Pierce, K., Woodcock, J.: Cyber-physical systems design: formal foundations, methods and integrated tool chains. In: FormaliSE: FME Workshop on Formal Methods in Software Engineering, ICSE 2015, Florence, Italy (2015)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Fitzgerald, J., Gamble, C., Pierce, K.: Method guidelines 3. Technical report, INTO-CPS Deliverable, D3.3a (2017)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Fitzgerald, J., Larsen, P.G., Verhoef, M. (eds.): Collaborative Design for Embedded Systems - Co-modelling and Co-simulation. Springer, Heidelberg (2014).
  11. 11.
    Fitzgerald, J., Larsen, P.G., Pierce, K.: Multi-modelling and co-simulation in the engineering of cyber-physical systems: towards the digital twin. In: ter Beek, M.H., Fantechi, A., Semini, L. (eds.) From Software Engineering to Formal Methods and Tools, and Back. LNCS, vol. 11865, pp. 40–55. Springer, Cham (2019). Scholar
  12. 12.
    Foldager, F., Larsen, P.G., Green, O.: Development of a driverless Lawn Mower using co-simulation. In: 1st Workshop on Formal Co-Simulation of Cyber-Physical Systems, Trento, Italy (2017)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Gomes, C., Thule, C., Broman, D., Larsen, P.G., Vangheluwe, H.: Co-simulation: a survey. ACM Comput. Surv. 51(3), 49:1–49:33 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hallerstede, S., Larsen, P.G., Boudjadar, J., Schultz, C.P.L., Esterle, L.: Frontiers in software engineering education. In: On the Design of a New Software Engineering Curriculum in Computer Engineering (2020)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hasanagić, M., Fabbri, T., Larsen, P.G., Bandur, V., Tran-Jørgensen, P., Ouy, J.: Code generation for distributed embedded systems with VDM-RT. Des. Autom. Embed. Syst. (2019).
  16. 16.
    Larsen, P.G., Battle, N., Ferreira, M., Fitzgerald, J., Lausdahl, K., Verhoef, M.: The overture initiative - integrating tools for VDM. SIGSOFT Softw. Eng. Notes 35(1), 1–6 (2010). Scholar
  17. 17.
    Larsen, P.G., et al.: Integrated tool chain for model-based design of cyber-physical systems: the INTO-CPS project. In: CPS Data Workshop, Vienna, Austria (2016)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Larsen, P.G., Kristiansen, E.L., Bennedsen, J., Bjerge, K.: Enhancing non-technical skills by a multidisciplinary engineering summer school. Eur. J. Eng. Educ. 42, 1076–1096 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Larsen, P.G., et al.: An online MBSE collaboration platform. In: SimulTech 2020 (2020)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Macedo, H.D., Sanjari, A., Villadsen, K., Thule, C., Larsen, P.G.: Introducing angular tests and upgrades to the INTO-CPS application. In: Submitted for Publication (2020)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Masci, P., Oladimeji, P., Zhang, Y., Jones, P., Curzon, P., Thimbleby, H.: PVSio-web 2.0: joining PVS to HCI. In: Kroening, D., Păsăreanu, C.S. (eds.) CAV 2015. LNCS, vol. 9206, pp. 470–478. Springer, Cham (2015). Scholar
  22. 22.
    Modelica Association: Functional Mock-up Interface for Model Exchange and Co-Simulation (2019).
  23. 23.
    Palmieri, M., Macedo, H.D.: Automatic generation of functional mock-up units from formal specifications. In: 3rd Workshop on Formal Co-Simulation of Cyber-Physical Systems, Oslo, Norway (2019, To appear)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Rasmussen, M.B., Thule, C., Macedo, H.D., Larsen, P.G.: Migrating the INTO-CPS application to the cloud. In: Gamble, C., Couto, L.D. (eds.) Proceedings of 17th Overture Workshop, pp. 47–61. Newcastle University Technical Report CS-TR-1530 (2019)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Shadbolt, N.: Shadbolt review of computer science degree accreditation and graduate employability. UK Government. Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and Higher Education Funding Council for England (2016)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Thompson, H. (ed.): Cyber-Physical Systems: Uplifting Europe’s Innovation Capacity. European Commission Unit A3 - DG CONNECT (2013)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Thule, C., Lausdahl, K., Gomes, C., Meisl, G., Larsen, P.G.: Maestro: the INTO-CPS co-simulation framework. Simul. Model. Pract. Theory 92, 45–61 (2019). S1569190X1830193X
  28. 28.
    Thule, C., Lausdahl, K., Larsen, P.G.: Overture FMU: export VDM-RT models as tool-wrapper FMUs. In: Pierce, K., Verhoef, M. (eds.) The 16th Overture Workshop, TR-1524, pp. 23–38. Newcastle University, School of Computing, Oxford (2018)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Verhoef, M., Larsen, P.G., Hooman, J.: Modeling and validating distributed embedded real-time systems with VDM++. In: Misra, J., Nipkow, T., Sekerinski, E. (eds.) FM 2006. LNCS, vol. 4085, pp. 147–162. Springer, Heidelberg (2006). Scholar
  30. 30.
    Walden, D.D., Roedler, G.J., Forsberg, K.J., Hamelin, R.D., Shortell, T.M. (eds.): Systems Engineering Handbook. A Guide for System Life Cycle Processes and Activities, Version 4.0., 4 edn. Wiley (2015)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.DIGIT, Department of EngineeringAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark
  2. 2.School of ComputingNewcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK

Personalised recommendations