Project Overview

MegaM@Rt will provide scalable model-based framework for continuous development and runtime validation of complex systems.

Main Objectives

MegaM@Rt will create a framework incorporating methods and tools for continuous development and validation leveraging the advantages in scalable model-based methods to provide benefits in significantly improved productivity, quality and predictability of large and complex industrial systems.

European industry faces stiff competition on the global arena. The electronic systems become more and more complex and call for modern engineering practices to tackle productivity and quality. The model-driven technologies promise significant productivity gains, which have been proven in several studies. However, these technologies need more development to scale for real-life industrial projects and provide advantages in runtime. MegaM@Rt brings the model-driven engineering to the next level in order to help European industry to reduce development and maintenance costs as well as to reinforce productivity and quality.

The specific scientific and technological objectives include development of:

  • scalable methods and tools for modelling of functional and non-functional properties such as performance, consumption, security and safety with mechanisms for representation of results of runtime analysis.
  • scalable methods and tools for application validation at runtime including scalable methods for models@runtime, verification and online testing.
  • infrastructure for efficient handling and management of numerous, heterogeneous and large models potentially covering several functional and non-functional domains.
  • holistic traceability 1) capable to link and manage models and their elements from different tools as well as 2) suitable for large distributed cross-functional working teams.
  • specific demonstrators and validate MegaM@Rt technologies through 10 complementary industrial case studies.

Technical approach

The overall approach of MegaM@Rt is to scale up the use of model-based techniques by offering proper methods and related tooling interacting between both design time and runtime, as well as to validate the designed and developed approach in concrete industrial cases involving complex systems.

To this intent, MegaM@Rt proposes an overall model-based approach combining existing techniques to be enhanced when relevant and novel ones to be developed when needed. A fundamental challenge notably resides in providing efficient traceability support between the two levels (i.e. from design models to runtime ones) and also in collecting corresponding feedback in terms of best practices (e.g. runtime data mining propagated back to design time).

In parallel to these, modern large-scale industrial software engineering processes require thorough configuration and model governance to provide the promised productivity gains. Thus, a scalable megamodelling approach will be designed and deployed to manage all the involved artifacts (e.g. the many different models), corresponding workflows, configurations, etc. and to better tackle their large diversity in terms of nature, number, size, complexity, etc.

To cover all these topics and deal with the complete value chain, MegaM@Rt will bring together prominent tool vendors and research organisation with state-of-the-art methods and tools that will be validated in highly relevant European industry case studies. The end users from the maritime, railway, telecom and industry domains will drive the project by providing real-world requirements and case studies as well as by validating and endorsing the MegaM@Rt results.

The MegaM@Rt System Engineering tool set will be designed and developed in order to provide several key features at design time such as (system) model analysis, model verification and validation, or code generation. Its main role is to offer the sufficient tooling support for ensuring consistency between the system initial requirements or specifications and its models describing both its functional and non-functional properties (existing system models could be enriched with specific properties, including performance ones notably). In addition, the linking and coherence between these system models and their corresponding implementation models will be considered too.

The MegaM@Rt Runtime Analysis tool set will be similarly designed and developed covering fundamental features at runtime such as (runtime) model execution and analysis from reports, logs (error logs, execution traces…), system interfaces, etc. Importantly, it will also provide the needed runtime-specific verification and validation capabilities (relying notably on previously mentioned monitoring and analysis support). To this intent, if not directly available (as models), the required input data will first have to be discovered, retrieved and represented accordingly. Then, traditional methods for model checking and model-based testing will have to be rethought and/or extended in order to fully tackle the specificities of runtime models and contained information.

In a transversal way, a global megamodelling approach will be defined in order to allow integrating together and properly deal with the two MegaM@Rt tool set, related workflows, involved artifacts, etc. Relying on the unification power of models and model-based techniques, this megamodelling approach will notably provide efficient means of describing, handling and managing many different heterogeneous artifacts (models, metamodels, transformations, generators, etc.) implied by the large-scale industrial scenarios in MegaM@Rt. Based on this, a fundamental aspect to be addressed in the project will consist in offering solutions for preserving the relevant traceability information between the design time and runtime time levels, notably in order to be able to report some feedback gained from runtime models/traces observation.

Appropriate model-based traces analysis capabilities will also have to be introduced in order to provide useful feedback that actually brings some added-value at design level (e.g. design patterns/anti-patterns identification). Finally, the support for integrating information collected from runtime via the identification of some relevant patterns and anti-patterns (see also hereafter) will be provided as part of this MegaM@Rt Model Management and Traceability tool set.

Key Issues

As stated in the ECSEL MASP, design methods and related technologies should fully support the constant technology push and corresponding new user/society demands of products/services based on more and more complex Electronic Components and Systems (ECS). This is particularly true in the context of the involved software components (relying on hardware configurations) and their interactions (e.g. with their underlying environment), both being very often numerous, complex, heterogeneous and strongly interrelated.

In the past, Model-Based Engineering principles and techniques have already shown promising capabilities that have been experimented in such context. However, they have generally failed in terms of 1) scalability to support real world scenarios implied by the full deployment and use of complex ECS and 2) efficient traceability, integration and communication between two fundamental system levels which are design time and runtime, notably as far as non-functional properties and their verification & validation are concerned

Expected Impact

MegaM@Rt targets the following main impact objectives:

  • Significantly increased productivity and quality of system development and shorten time-to-market for complex systems.
  • Reinforced European scientific and technological leadership in the design of complex systems.
  • Improved competitiveness of European companies that rely on the design and integration of complex systems in their products by reducing design and maintenance costs as well as the time-to-market.