Engineering Families of Software-Intensive Systems using Features, Goals and Scenarios

University dissertation from Umeå : Datavetenskap

Abstract: Over the last decade, software has become an integral part of many products with which it is not traditionally associated (e.g., automobiles, medical equipment, home appliances, etc.). This has led to problems in many organizations, since it has proved difficult to integrate software engineering processes with other engineering processes. To address the increased complexity and to coordinate their engineering efforts, many organizations working in such domains have therefore introduced systems engineering into their business processes.Systems engineering is an interdisciplinary approach to system development. Teamwork is essential in developing complex systems, and systems engineering orchestrates this process throughout the lifespan of a system. The focus of systems engineering is on defining customer needs and required functionality, documenting requirements, synthesizing a design and validating the system. A problem with the traditional techniques of systems engineering is, however, that they provide inadequate support for achieving high levels of reuse between different projects.In this dissertation, methods and tools with the overall purpose of providing an improved reuse infrastructure for systems engineering artifacts and their resulting detailed design artifacts are proposed. The proposed methods and tools are based on the software product-line approach, a reuse strategy which focuses on families of related systems that address particular market segments.Studies have shown that if an empirical study does not report experiences from that which practitioners consider a “real” situation, results are likely to be ignored. Even though case studies cannot achieve the scientific rigor of formal experiments, case studies can provide enough information to decide if a specific technology will benefit a particular organization. To ensure industry-relevant research results, case studies on real development projects were chosen as the main vehicle for performing research.This dissertation reports experiences from four empirical studies which were performed within the Swedish defense industry. The studies indicate that the proposed methods and tools indeed provide an improved reuse infrastructure, compared to the previously used methods and tools.