Requirements Engineering for Control Systems

Requirements Engineering for Control Systems,Dominik Schmitz

Requirements Engineering for Control Systems  
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In automobiles control systems play an important role. The task of a controller is to continuously compare and a dapt the current value(s) of some system to some possibly changing desired value(s) (6). Control system functionality is nowadays implemented in software on electronic control units (ECUs). Requirements engineering for control systems is challenging since two disciplines meet that have evolved rather independently from each other: software engineering and control systems engineering. Within the ZAMOMO project (, "Integrating Model-Based Software and Control Systems Engineering") we aim to integrate both development threads and to address the peculiarities in this domain. In (2, 3, 8), several special requirements have been identified that need to be addresse d when developing software for embedded systems (including controllers). Additionally, a survey within the MOOSE project (4) has investigated the de facto situation in real enterprises. Finally resulting from our own project experience, special requirements of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) have been identified (10). In the presentation, the above mentioned issues concerning control system development (see (9) for a more extensive discussion) have been related to the four key requirements principles that have been identified during the previous workshop (5). Intertwine Requirements and Contexts Embedded sy stems are per se much more constrained by design parameters of the given hardware, other environmental issues such as installation spaces, or the available platforms for electronic control units etc. In particular, SMEs need to capture and consider requirements as well as a first system design fast and reliably quite early, namely during the offer development phase, in order to provide a reliable and competitive cost calculation. Evolve Designs and Ecologies Regard ing evolution it is worth to mention that there is a high frequency of innovations in the control systems domain, especially on the hardware level. Consequently, domain knowledge and thus requirements must explicitly and adaptably be represented and evolved. Manage through Architectures The auto mobile industry has already identified the need for some stable platform. The AUTOSAR initiative ( establishes a generic, vendor independent platform to enable the interaction of control system components with varying or overlapping functionality within one or between several electronic control units. Recognize Complexity The inter-d isciplinarity of control problems, especially when a solution is realized in software, is an important indicator for the complexity in this domain and requires a joined, tailored development methodology. Awareness has been raised that textual approaches towards requirements capture should be substituted by model-based approaches that have clear formal semantics, enable
Published in 2009.
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