During the development of safety-critical systems, the Model Driven Engineering gains more and more ground. The usage of this approach brings several implements, whereby the time spent on the development can be decreased substantially, and with this, the coast can be reduced. It is particularly important in the avionics developments, where the implementation, the testing and the certification of each component takes multiple time and exceeds the costs than the average.
The world's third biggest aircraft manufacturer, the Embraer, wanted to examine the possibility of the introduction of model driven engineering. In early 2012, Embraer started a mutual research and development project with the university, wherein I participated.
Aims of the Trans-IMA project are to give a model driven approach and a framework for simulating the functional and hardware architecture and the allocations of an aircraft.
The building blocks of the hardware architecture and the physical communication paths between them are defined in the platform description model. The functional architecture model captures system functionalities and their corresponding information links. The allocation is where the functional elements are assigned to the execution elements within the platform description. Furthermore, information links are mapped to communication paths.
My thesis work was to elaborate and implement the allocation procedure, with a graphical editor. I made a developer module based on model-driven approaches to hand-driven creation and automatic generation of the allocation. I used advanced UI elements for a better usability and constraint programming methods to automate the allocation process.
One of the most important aim of my task was to allow the users to create allocation models easier, which makes it able to simulate and test in the early stage of the development. For example, it is allowed to evaluate rapidly the advantages and disadvantages of hardware architectures, which belongs to different hardware suppliers. With this application the FAM can be reused and only a new PDM and allocation have to be done for each proposal. Additionally, I design and develop a procedure to automate the allocation process. This solution is based on CSP techniques.