Model-Driven Evolution Management Framework for Automation Systems (MoDEMAS)

Automation systems constitute multi-disciplinary, software-intensive and long-living systems. System modifications to meet a constantly changing set of requirements (also called evolution steps in this proposal) regularly require long downtimes and critical test phases upon start-up. Hence, changes in the automation system have to be avoided whenever possible. As current and future markets demand higher flexibility regarding customer specific products (up to lot-size one concepts), the time between evolution steps needs to be decreased drastically. In fact, it is expected that in the future evolution of automation systems has to be managed in day-to-day routine. This project aims at enabling this routine through a model-driven engineering methodology including respective engineering process models and formalisms (1) to define and structure system requirements and (2) to describe and analyze system architectures and component structures/behavior.

Therefore, typical evolution scenarios and established project execution strategies and work practices are studied initially. The analysis results serve as the basis for developing a respective model-driven engineering method. Therefore, FOCUS – a well-elaborated model-based engineering methodology particularly suited for developing reactive software systems – is adapted substantially to meet the particular requirements of evolution in the automation system domain regarding both content and usability. In particular, the provided formalisms are extended to capture cross-discipline architectural, structural and behavioral system aspects that need to be preserved along the lifecycle of automation systems. Based on a rigorous system model complementary analysis techniques are studied, which allow verifying system properties and validating system designs and their respective model-based implementations early in the evolution process. Finally, a model of the resulting engineering process and respective engineering methods is derived with the goal to facilitate establishing the proposed framework within organizations.

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