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Model-Based Software Derivation for Industrial Automation Management Systems

  • The systems in industrial automation management (IAM) are information systems. The management parts of such systems are software components that support the manufacturing processes. The operational parts control highly plug-compatible devices, such as controllers, sensors and motors. Process variability and topology variability are the two main characteristics of software families in this domain. Furthermore, three roles of stakeholders -- requirement engineers, hardware-oriented engineers, and software developers -- participate in different derivation stages and have different variability concerns. In current practice, the development and reuse of such systems is costly and time-consuming, due to the complexity of topology and process variability. To overcome these challenges, the goal of this thesis is to develop an approach to improve the software product derivation process for systems in industrial automation management, where different variability types are concerned in different derivation stages. Current state-of-the-art approaches commonly use general-purpose variability modeling languages to represent variability, which is not sufficient for IAM systems. The process and topology variability requires more user-centered modeling and representation. The insufficiency of variability modeling leads to low efficiency during the staged derivation process involving different stakeholders. Up to now, product line approaches for systematic variability modeling and realization have not been well established for such complex domains. The model-based derivation approach presented in this thesis integrates feature modeling with domain-specific models for expressing processes and topology. The multi-variability modeling framework includes the meta-models of the three variability types and their associations. The realization and implementation of the multi-variability involves the mapping and the tracing of variants to their corresponding software product line assets. Based on the foundation of multi-variability modeling and realization, a derivation infrastructure is developed, which enables a semi-automated software derivation approach. It supports the configuration of different variability types to be integrated into the staged derivation process of the involved stakeholders. The derivation approach is evaluated in an industry-grade case study of a complex software system. The feasibility is demonstrated by applying the approach in the case study. By using the approach, both the size of the reusable core assets and the automation level of derivation are significantly improved. Furthermore, semi-structured interviews with engineers in practice have evaluated the usefulness and ease-of-use of the proposed approach. The results show a positive attitude towards applying the approach in practice, and high potential to generalize it to other related domains.

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Author:Miao Fang
URN (permanent link):urn:nbn:de:hbz:386-kluedo-56962
Advisor:Dieter Rombach
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Language of publication:English
Publication Date:2019/08/11
Year of Publication:2019
Publishing Institute:Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Granting Institute:Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Acceptance Date of the Thesis:2019/07/15
Date of the Publication (Server):2019/08/12
Number of page:XIII, 195
Faculties / Organisational entities:Fachbereich Informatik
CCS-Classification (computer science):D. Software
DDC-Cassification:0 Allgemeines, Informatik, Informationswissenschaft / 004 Informatik
Licence (German):Creative Commons 4.0 - Namensnennung, nicht kommerziell (CC BY-NC 4.0)