On June 25 and 30 ICT Group presented the webinar sessions ‘Supporting growth in challenging times: model-based approaches for efficient software development and managed complexity’. The first session was about ‘Model-Driven Engineering: efficiently developing software in a complex environment, where are we now?’.
Model-Driven Engineering (MDE) is a software development methodology which saves businesses a significant amount of time and money and enables them to streamline their operations. All parties can now work together within a single model which improves coordination between various stakeholders resulting in a more robust software solution with fewer bugs. Moreover, it reduces the time-to-market. MDE is perfect for businesses with a need for complex and error-proof software.
Since the seventies design automation has been instrumental to cope with every growing complexity of electronic systems. Key is to automatically synthesize from an abstract specification, a design solution in terms of the (parameterized) components in a library called a platform. Over the years the level of aggregation of the components has increased from transistors in the seventies to embedded platforms and robots today. The first part of the webinar by Jeroen Voeten explains the key concepts in design automation and highlights a successful recent industrial innovation in the embedded control domain, that resulted in a big improvement of engineering efficiency and product quality. Taming the level of cyber-physical systems is our next endeavor; this talk presents the goals and recent research results.
The business case – Massachussetss General Hospital
MDE is widely applicable and its use is not only limited to one industry, but can deliver strong benefits in e.g. in the Automotive, Life science, Industrial & Applied science sectors . For the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston we developed a workflow and data management system. When developing this system for radiation oncology, we experienced that the interaction between customer, domain expert and system engineer is crucial to prevent the introduction of unnecessary complexity. MDE helps increasing development efficiency by raising the level of abstraction. Domain-Specific Languages as an integral part of MDE support the description of different facets of the problem domain in a clear and concise way. This is crucial for effective code generation efforts. Thanks to these methods, we developed an efficient, accurate and easy to maintain workflow and data management system.
In the second part of the webinar Frank van der Kruijssen, shared his lessons learned. He explained how he and his team have been able to reduce the complexity of this advanced system and why the use of Model-Driven engineering was beneficial for this project.