Measuring the Evolution of Automotive Software Models and Meta-Models to Support Faster Adoption of New Architectural Features
Background: The ever-increasing amount of software in cars today combined with high market competition demands fast adoption of new software solutions in car development projects. One challenge in enabling such a fast adoption is to develop the architecture and models of the automotive software systems in a structured and controlled way.
Objective: The main objective of this thesis was to enable the fast utilization of new architectural features in automotive software models. This was achieved by developing methods and tools to analyze the evolution of the domain-specific meta-models that are used to define the language of software models and their features. In particular, we wanted to identify the underlying changes caused by meta-model evolution related to a specific set of architectural features and assess their impact on both the architectural models and modeling tools used by different roles (e.g., the Original Equipment Manufacturers, OEMs, and their suppliers) in the development process.
Method: We achieved our objective by conducting an action research project in close collaboration with the Volvo Car Group (Volvo Cars) and the consortium of the AUTOSAR standard, which aims to standardize the architecture of automotive software systems. This collaboration facilitates fast feedback from experts in the field on the problems, ideas and methods we developed in the course of this research, thereby enabling the validation of the research results and proposed methods in on-going development projects, i.e., their direct application in the industry.
Results: We identified the most suitable software measures for measuring the evolution of both the automotive software models and meta-models. The calculation and presentation of the measurement results were done with the support of two, newly-developed tools. We also developed a method for the automated identification of an optimal set of new architectural features that should be adopted in development projects to facilitate the decision-making process concerning the selection of which of these new features would be adopted.
Conclusion: We applied the developed methods and tools to the architectural models and meta-models used at Volvo Cars and concluded that they provide valuable input for the decision-making process concerning which new versions of the standardized meta-model should be used in different projects. We also concluded that these methods and tools can facilitate the assessment of the impact of adopting new architectural features on the different roles involved in the development process.
Modeling and meta-modeling
automotive software architectures