Managing Extra-Functional Properties in Component-Based Development of Embedded Systems

University dissertation from Västerås : Mälardalen University

Abstract: The continuously increasing complexity of embedded systems is a major issue for their development, which, in addition, must also consider specific extra-functional requirements and constraints, such as limited and shared resources, distribution, timing, and dependability. Thus, embedded systems calls for development solutions that can efficiently and predictably cope with these issues. Component-based software engineering is a proven paradigm to handle complexity. Yet, for efficiently managing extra-functional properties, a component model needs to have dedicated mechanisms that provide a suitable support for their management. The objective of this thesis is to build this support.We have performed a systematic analysis of existing component models and identified challenges of applying a component-based approach to embedded system development. Based on these challenges we have advanced the current state-of-the-art by developing a new component model, called ProCom, that accommodates the specifics of embedded systems through its well-defined execution semantics and layered structure. Centered around ProCom, we have also developed Pride, the ProCom Integrated Development Environment. Pride supports the development from early specification to synthesis and deployment, providing the means to aggregate various analysis and verification tools.The main contribution of the thesis is in the design and implementation of an extra-functional property management framework that enables to seamlessly specify, manage and integrate multi-valued context-aware extra-functional properties of component-based embedded systems. Properties can be attached to architectural elements of component models and their values can be compared and refined during the development process. In particular, having multiple context-aware values allows values from different sources to be compared. The proposed concepts have been demonstrated on several representative example systems.

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