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An Observer-Based Technique with Trace Links for Requirements Validation in Embedded Real-Time Systems
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering. Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Embedded Systems. (IS Software Engineering)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2615-6842
2014 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

With the growing complexity of embedded real-time systems, requirements validation becomes an ever-more critical activity for developing such systems. Studies have revealed that most of the anomalies, discovered in the development of complex systems, belong to requirement and specification phases. To ease the situation, many efforts have been investigated into the area. Model-based techniques, enabling formal semantics and requirements traceability, are emerging as promising solutions to cost-effective requirements validation. In these techniques, the functional behaviors derived from lower-level requirements are specified in terms of analyzable models at a certain level of abstraction. Further, upper-level requirements are formalized into verifiable queries and/or formulas. Meanwhile, trace links between requirements at various levels of abstraction as well as between requirements and subsequent artifacts (such as verifiable queries and/or formulas, and analyzable models) are built, through which the queries and/or formulas can be fed into the corresponding models. However, such model-based techniques suffer from some limitations, such as how to support semi- or fully-automatic trace links creation between diverse development artifacts, how to ease the demand of heavy mathematics background knowledge to specify queries and/or formulas, and how to analyze models without encountering the state explosion problem. 

 

In this thesis, we cover two aspects centering around requirements validation to ease the aforementioned limitations, which are mainly about requirements traceability and model-based requirements validation. In particular, the technical contributions are four-fold: 1) we have introduced an improved VSM-based requirements traceability creation/recovery approach using a novel context analysis and, 2) we have proposed a lightweight model-based approach to requirements validation by using the Timed Abstract State Machine (TASM) language with newly defined Observer and Event constructs and, 3) we have combined our model-based approach with a restricted use case modeling approach for feature-oriented requirements validation and, 4) we have improved the Observer construct of TASM via proposing a new observer specification logic to facilitate the observer specification, as well as defining the corresponding observer execution process. Finally, we have demonstrated the applicability of our contributions in real world usage through various applications.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University , 2014.
Series
Mälardalen University Press Licentiate Theses, ISSN 1651-9256 ; 177
National Category
Embedded Systems
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-25876ISBN: 978-91-7485-160-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-25876DiVA: diva2:743972
Presentation
2014-10-13, Kappa, Mälardalens högskola, Västerås, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-09-05 Created: 2014-09-05 Last updated: 2014-10-06Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. A Context-based Information Retrieval Technique for Recovering Use-Case-to-Source-Code Trace Links in Embedded Software Systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Context-based Information Retrieval Technique for Recovering Use-Case-to-Source-Code Trace Links in Embedded Software Systems
2013 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Post-requirements traceability is the ability to relate requirements (e.g., use cases) forward to corresponding design documents, source code and test cases by establishing trace links. This ability is becoming ever more crucial within embedded systems development, as a critical activity of testing, verification, validation and certification. However, semi-automatically or fullyautomatically generating accurate trace links remains an open research challenge, especially for legacy systems. Vector Space Model (VSM), a notably known Information Retrieval (IR) technique aims to remedy this situation. However, VSMÂ’s lowaccuracy level in practice is a limitation. The contribution of this paper is an improved VSM-based post-requirements traceability recovery approach using a novel context analysis. Specifically, the analysis method can better utilize context information extracted from use cases to discover relevant source code files. Our approach is evaluated by using three different embedded applications in the domains of industrial automation, automotive and mobile. The evaluation shows that our new approach can achieve better accuracy than VSM, in terms of higher values of three main IR metrics, i.e., recall, precision, and mean average precision, when it handles embedded software applications.

National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-21408 (URN)10.1109/SEAA.2013.30 (DOI)2-s2.0-84889002506 (Scopus ID)
Conference
39th Euromicro Conference on Software Engineering and Advanced Applications (SEAA 2013), Santander, Spain September 4-6, 2013
Available from: 2013-09-11 Created: 2013-09-11 Last updated: 2014-09-05Bibliographically approved
2. A TASM-based requirements validation approach for safety-critical embedded systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A TASM-based requirements validation approach for safety-critical embedded systems
2014 (English)In: 19th International Conference on Reliable Software Technologies, Ada-Europe 2014, 2014, 43-57 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Requirements validation is an essential activity to carry out in the system development life cycle, and it confirms the completeness and consistency of requirements through various levels. Model-based formal methods can provide a cost-effective solution to requirements validation in a wide range of domains such as safety-critical applications. In this paper, we extend a formal language Timed Abstract State Machine (TASM) with two newly defined constructs Event and Observer, and propose a novel requirements validation approach based on the extended TASM. Specifically, our approach can: 1) model both functional and non-functional (e.g. timing and resource consumption) requirements of the system at different levels and, 2) perform requirements validation by utilizing our developed toolset and a model checker. Finally, we demonstrate the applicability of our approach in real world usage through an industrial case study of a Brake-by-Wire system.

Series
Lecture Notes in Computer Science, ISSN 0302-9743 ; 8454
National Category
Computer Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-25695 (URN)10.1007/978-3-319-08311-7_5 (DOI)000360100800005 ()2-s2.0-84903577705 (Scopus ID)9783319083100 (ISBN)
Conference
19th International Conference on Reliable Software Technologies, Ada-Europe 2014
Available from: 2014-07-21 Created: 2014-07-18 Last updated: 2015-09-11Bibliographically approved
3. Towards Feature-Oriented Requirements Validation for Automotive Systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards Feature-Oriented Requirements Validation for Automotive Systems
Show others...
2014 (English)In: 2014 IEEE 22nd International Requirements Engineering Conference, RE 2014 - Proceedings, 2014, 428-436 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In the modern automotive industry, feature models have been widely used as a domain-specific requirements model, which can capture commonality and variability of a software product line through a set of features. Product variants can thus be configured by selecting different sets of features from the feature model. For feature-oriented requirements validation, the variability of feature sets often makes the hidden flaws such as behavioral inconsistencies of features, hardly to avoid. In this paper, we present an approach to feature-oriented requirements validation for automotive systems w.r.t both functional behaviors and non-functional properties. Our approach first starts with the behavioral specification of features and the associated requirements by following a restricted use case modeling approach, and then formalizes such specifications by using a formal yet literate language for analysis. We demonstrate the applicability of our approach through an industrial application of a Vehicle Locking-Unlocking system

Keyword
eature-oriented requirements modeling, model- based requirements validation, eTASM, RUCM, software product lines, systems functional behaviors and non-functional properties
National Category
Engineering and Technology Computer and Information Science Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-25875 (URN)10.1109/RE.2014.6912294 (DOI)2-s2.0-84909957453 (Scopus ID)978-1-4799-3031-9 (ISBN)
Conference
22nd IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE'14), Karlskrona, Sweden, from the 25th to the 29th of August, 2014
Note

(c) 2014 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other users, including reprinting/ republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted components of this work in other works

Available from: 2014-09-05 Created: 2014-09-05 Last updated: 2014-11-28Bibliographically approved
4. The Observer-based Technique for Requirements Validation in Embedded Real-time Systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Observer-based Technique for Requirements Validation in Embedded Real-time Systems
2014 (English)In: Proceedings of 1st International Workshop on Requirements Engineering and Testing (RET), 2014, 47-54 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Model-based requirements validation is an increasingly attractive approach to discovering hidden flaws in requirements in the early phases of systems development life cycle. The application of using traditional methods such as model checking for the validation purpose is limited by the growing complexity of embedded real-time systems (ERTS). The observer-based technique is a lightweight validation technique, which has shown its potential as a means of validating the correctness of model behaviors. In this paper, the novelty of our contributions is three-fold: 1) we formally define the observer constructs for our formal specification language namely the Timed Abstract State Machine (TASM) language and, 2) we propose the Events Monitoring Logic (EvML) to facilitate the observer specification and, 3) we show how to execute observers to validate the requirements describing the functional behaviors and non-functional properties (such as timing) of ERTS. We also illustrate the applicability of the extended TASM language through an industrial application of a Vehicle Locking-Unlocking system.

National Category
Engineering and Technology Computer Science Computer and Information Science Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-25874 (URN)10.1109/RET.2014.6908679 (DOI)000349447300010 ()2-s2.0-84908648088 (Scopus ID)9781479963348 (ISBN)
Conference
1st International Workshop on Requirements Engineering and Testing (RET 2014), August 26, 2014. Karlskrona, Sweden.
Available from: 2014-09-05 Created: 2014-09-05 Last updated: 2015-03-06Bibliographically approved

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