Utilizing behavioral aspects in model-based design of autonomous embedded systems

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Electrification, autonomous driving, connectivity inside and outside the vehicle: The onboard electronic network has become the brain of today’s cars. The ever-increasing sharing of data within vehicles and to systems outside of the vehicle raises the complexity and makes the development of electric and electronic systems in vehicles, the so-called electric and electronic (E/E) development, more and more challenging. Additionally, the advancements of next generation networked embedded systems has initiated the need for software technologies that facilitate rapid prototyping and high performance while enhancing the system’s resilience by establishing and maintaining trustworthiness and assuring system safety and security.

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To face these challenges the entire E/E development process must be taken into account – from the definition of functional and non-functional requirements all the way through to the architecture design down to the actual code generation and integration on the target. The XANDAR project and its X-by-Construction approach for safety critical systems aims to deliver a mature software tool chain that fulfills the need of the industry for rapid prototyping of interoperable and autonomous embedded systems, starting from a model-based system architecture description. Project partner Vector as a leading manufacturer of software tools and embedded components for the development of electronic systems and their networking provides among others PREEvision as part and central chain link of the XANDAR tool chain.

PREEvision is a model-based development platform for distributed, embedded systems in the automotive industry and related fields. The collaborative engineering solution offers comprehensive functions for both signal-based and service-oriented architecture development and covers the complete development process from requirements engineering, communication design, safety-related system design, AUTOSAR system and software design, as well as hardware component and network design. At its core, it provides a comprehensive domain language as a technical semantic means of expression or model description. This meta model is structured by dedicated abstraction layers, exemplarily for requirements engineering and software design.

In addition to the domain specific language for the description of all aspects of E/E systems, PREEvision also supports modeling of system behavior. The means to describe behavioral aspects are based on concepts and constructs from the Unified Modeling Language (UML) and Systems Modeling Language (SysML). Behavior diagrams like use case or state machine diagrams complement the structure diagrams for system description like package diagrams and various block diagrams for dedicated abstraction layers. Since the latter are based on a domain-specific meta model, there is no necessity to derive a modeling profile and the usage of stereotypes compared to UML.

Based on XANDAR’s automotive and avionic use cases, the requirements for integrated behavioral modeling are investigated by incorporating the respective standards, and the relevant modeling concepts are derived to support the design of autonomous embedded systems.

The added value to be achieved for the XANDAR development process is as follows:

  • Development support for complex architectures and heterogenous systems during different development phases from a structural and behavioral perspective.
  • Integrated modeling of activities enabling the behavior-driven system decomposition and partitioning.
  • Combined modeling of the structural logical architecture and the corresponding behavior enabling the specification of functional requirements as a prerequisite for the SWC code generation.

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