Use of a uniform methodology saves on costs and improves quality
Together with its European research partners, VTT Technical Research Centre of
Finland has developed new methods and tools for the development of embedded
systems. The aircraft, car, industrial automation, electronics and
telecommunications industries in particular can benefit from methods for the
development of even safer systems than before.
The challenge for the future posed by embedded systems is to reduce costs,
improve quality and bring new products to market faster than before. A
methodology that supports the development of embedded systems was developed in
a pan-European research project. The methodology provides a modelling process
that supports platform-based development and a modelling language and
modelling techniques for the modelling of applications and the platform. In
addition, the methodology provides methods and tools for the evaluation of the
quality of embedded systems already during the design phase. The study also
specified an integrated development environment that provides its users with
methods for transforming models from one form into another as one moves from
one stage of development to another, as well as with the opportunity of
tracing the design results from requirements to implementation or vice versa.
The new methodology, including a set of methods and tools, is suitable for the
development of various types of embedded systems. The architectural style
created by the researchers ensures broad applicability because the style can
be applied in different application fields. Furthermore, the reference
architecture template provides a set of pre-defined core services and
domain-specific services for the implementation of the execution platform.
“The most significant advantage of the uniform system methodology is the cost
savings it enables. The savings are achieved when the results of the expensive
development work of platform services can be utilised more than once in
different application fields and when flaws and deficiencies can be corrected
before the system's actual implementation,” says Eila Ovaska, Research
Professor at VTT.
The reusable services ensure the same quality level of system development.
Quality is an essential aspect of nearly all embedded systems but its
importance is emphasised in applications where safety is crucial, such as in
aircraft and cars. Quality is also emphasised when the application domain has
certain special requirements related to information security, usability or
In addition to its use in aircraft, cars and industrial automation, the
methodology can also be utilised in distributed embedded systems such as
distributed control, measurement and communication systems at home, in office,
industry or urban environments.
The research was mostly carried out with funding provided by the EU Seventh
Framework Programme. The project was coordinated by the Vienna University of
Technology and included the participation of 23 partners from 11 European
VTT participated in the development of the architecture style and the
reference architecture template through its expertise in software and systems
engineering of embedded systems and had the main responsibility for developing