Comprehensive Modelling for Advanced Systems of Systems

When two or more different computer systems cooperate and share resources, a so-called system of systems arises. And this provides major challenges for software engineers around the world because they are currently difficult to handle. Researchers are, however, well on the way to developing the first model-based techniques and tools that can be used to design, operate and control systems of systems. The photo shows the software engineering group at Department of Engineering.

Aarhus University is participating in a major international research collaboration between universities and businesses to develop new modelling technology for advanced software. Danish Bang & Olufsen is one of the companies participating in the COMPass project, and they have already harvested the first fruits of the project’s research.

How do we make sure that the computer-based systems sold in the shops today – for example televisions or stereos – do not quickly become obsolete? And how can we guarantee that the existing media products can communicate with the systems of the future? A major European research project is shedding light on this.

The speed of technological development of media products is constantly increasing. More than ever before, manufacturers need new theories, methods and techniques that enable them to continuously and quickly adapt their existing systems to new systems, media and future consumer needs.

When systems pair with each other, anything can happen
The objective is to develop new methods, tools and modelling languages that make it easier to develop and optimise the interaction between different independent IT-based systems and thereby achieve functions or services that would not be achievable by using a single IT-based system in isolation.

Bang & Olufsen have already benefited from the first version of the modelling language in the company’s work with technology development and control. They are now able to analyse the characteristics of the systems that arise when their own systems are paired with their competitors’ systems with their special formats, distribution methods and rights. This allows B&O to ensure the quality of their products better and faster.

COMPASS - FACTS

COMPASS – new technology for the modelling, testing and verification of interactions between IT systems
Modern system architecture consists of a number of different independent computer-based systems. These systems may very often share properties, such as a television that shows photos taken with a mobile phone. Or it could be the ambulance control system that communicates with the patient records system. In both cases, these are so-called systems of systems.

COMPass is an international research project with a large consortium of universities and companies. The objective is to develop model-based techniques and tools for the design, operation and control of systems of systems. These techniques may lead to completely new standards for how we test and verify software. This is of vital commercial importance, particularly in companies that spend a lot of resources on quality assurance, and in companies that develop mission critical software for aircraft, trains and military equipment.

Bang & Olufsen is one of two companies involved in the project testing the new technologies with case studies.