Software Tool Chain for Automotive – the IMES research project

At itemis, we are currently participating in a public funded research project (IMES) that deals with the software development tool chain for automotive software, especially in early phases. We do have two main focus points in the project:

  • An integrated tool chain for logical functions and software architecture, including traceability to requirements and variant management.
  • A prototype for a trans-company model repository that avoids the current gaps in the tool chain.

The project is a good example how you can leverag existing Eclipse technologies and combine them:

IMES Architecture

IMES Architecture

  • The development process starts with requirements. We use the Eclipse RMF project to import ReqIF and display/edit requirements. This is also the basis for traceability. Eclipse RMF is an open source project contributed by itemis and the university of Düsseldorf / Formal Mind
  • The specification of feature models and model variants is done with tooling based on the Eclipse Feature Model project. The basis of the feature model project had been contributed by pure systems and recently, itemis has released the textual editors for the features / variants as open source and will put them under the Eclipse umbrellas. The editors are based on Xtext, another open source project.
  • Functional modeling (logical architecture) is based on the just recently published EAST-ADL meta-model / its implementation that is published under the name “EATOP”. The meta-model has been contributed by Continental AG as part of a public funded research project. The editors are implemented by itemis and rely heavily on the Eclipse Graphiti framework.
  • In early phases, logical architecture is often done in combination with functional prototypes. These are provided in terms of state machines or, more often, data flow / block diagrams. While the OEM will still use commercial modeling tools for this purpose, we use Eclipse DAMOS to show the integration.
  • Logical Functions are mapped to software architecture. The software architecture editor is developed in the scope of IMES and is based on Artop – an AUTOSAR meta-model implementation by the Artop user group.
  • The same applies for the deployment to real ECUs. Both editors again are based on the Graphiti framework.
  • All of the artifacts can be traced on model element level. This is done by using Yakindu CReMa, which has been developed within the VERDE research project.
  • Again, on model element level, change management tickets can be assigned on a fine level to any tickets. Eclipse Mylyn provides all the infrastructure and the connection to the editors is developed on the IMES side.

On the repository side, we are bringing together two of Eclipse’s interesting projects:

  • Sphinx provides a lot of functionality for workspace management and helps several editing tools from different sources to work together on the same models.
  • CDO is a persistency framework with branching / versioning support (think “Git” for models). It will allow for a number of different collaboration scenarios between OEM and 1st tier, including working together on the same server, working on offline repositories with sync etc.

The Eclipse eco-system is truly marvelous.

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