MoDES - Model Driven Development of Intelligent Embedded Systems

Imagine a car in which the motor is manufactured in the Czech Republic, the transmission in Germany, the undercarriage in Spain and the electronic system in Japan. Each part arrives with a user manual in its own language. So even though every part is professionally made, it will take a long time to put the parts together and test the system – simply because it lacks a common language.

The same problem exists within development and test of embedded software. Therefore, CISS now heads a national research project fundedn by the Danish Council for Strategic Research. The name of the project is MoDES, Model Driven Development of Intelligent Embedded Systems.

“The most important task in the research project MoDES is to work with the development of one coherent, model-based method of design for intelligent embedded software – with models, techniques and tools to go with it,” vice director of CISS Arne Skou explains. Along with associate professor Roozbeh Izadi-Zamanabadi, he is CISS’ project manager in MoDES.

Strong collaborators

CISS is far from alone in the project, which was launched on January 1, 2006. Participants are also the Department of Informatics and Mathematical Modelling at the Technical University of Denmark and the Mads Clausen Institute at the University of Southern Denmark, and over the course of the three and a half years that the project will run, the three research insitutions will educate four PhD students who are specialised within exactly these problematics.

The PhD students will be working with concrete problems, because four companies are associated with the project; namely Hardi International A/S, Skov A/S, Danfoss A/S and Reactive Systems, Inc. – and the students can also draw upon the competences residing within the Center for Software Innovation in Sønderborg.

“It is important that we – through the associated companies – have some concrete cases upon which we can test the theories,” Roozbeh Izadi-Zamanabadi explains.

Harmonising models

“The basis of the challenge we are facing is the fact that when we look at the different sections of the development of embedded software – that is, control theory, software technology, mechatronics and HW/SW co-design – each work area has developed in its own direction, with its own language and own theory and model apparatus. By adapting the specific theories and methods, we can construct a more coherent model apparatus for model-based testing – and thus establish a coherent design process,” Arne Skou explains and continues:

“This more efficient design process will lead to a more correct design, because everyone will work on the basis of the same underlying understanding of the model. The documentation will improve – in short; we will become more efficient when it comes to developing new embedded software.”

In a couple of years, when – hopefully – entirely new methods and tools for design are ready, the researchers will hold courses and training programmes about them, so that the employees in the industrial development departments can benefit from the new knowledge.

Read more at the MoDES’ website.