Leveraging model-based product lines for systems engineering

João Bosco Ferreira Filho 1
1 DiverSe - Diversity-centric Software Engineering
Inria Rennes – Bretagne Atlantique , IRISA-D4 - LANGAGE ET GÉNIE LOGICIEL
Abstract : Systems Engineering is a complex and expensive activity in several kinds of companies, it imposes stakeholders to deal with massive pieces of software and their integration with several hardware components. To ease the development of such systems, engineers adopt a divide and conquer approach : each concern of the system is engineered separately, with several domain specific languages (DSL) and stakeholders. The current practice for making DSLs is to rely on the Model-driven Engineering (MDE. On the other hand, systems engineering companies also need to construct slightly different versions/variants of a same system; these variants share commonalities and variabilities that can be managed using a Software Product Line (SPL) approach. A promising approach is to ally MDE with SPL – Model-based SPLs (MSPL) – in a way that the products of the SPL are expressed as models conforming to a metamodel and well-formedness rules. The Common Variability Language (CVL) has recently emerged as an effort to standardize and promote MSPLs. Engineering an MSPL is extremely complex to an engineer: the number of possible products is exponential; the derived product models have to conform to numerous well- formedness and business rules; and the realization model that connects a variability model and a set of design models can be very expressive specially in the case of CVL. Managing variability models and design models is a non-trivial activity. Connecting both parts and therefore managing all the models is a daunting and error-prone task. Added to these challenges, we have the multiple different modeling languages of systems engineering. Each time a new modeling language is used for developing an MSPL, the realization layer should be revised accordingly. The objective of this thesis is to assist the engineering of MSPLs in the systems engineering field, considering the need to support it as earlier as possible and without compromising the existing development process. To achieve this, we provide a systematic and automated process, based on CVL, to randomly search the space of MSPLs for a given language, generating counterexamples that can server as antipatterns. We then provide ways to specialize CVL’s realization layer (and derivation engine) based on the knowledge acquired from the counterexamples. We validate our approach with four modeling languages, being one acquired from industry; the approach generates counterexamples efficiently, and we could make initial progress to increase the safety of the MSPL mechanisms for those languages, by implementing antipattern detection rules. Besides, we also analyse big Java programs, assessing the adequacy of CVL to deal with complex languages; it is also a first step to assess qualitatively the counterexamples. Finally, we provide a methodology to define the processes and roles to leverage MSPL engineering in an organization.
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João Bosco Ferreira Filho. Leveraging model-based product lines for systems engineering. Software Engineering [cs.SE]. Université Rennes 1, 2014. English. ⟨NNT : 2014REN1S080⟩. ⟨tel-01127500⟩

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