MBAT Project Detailed Overview

One of the most important strategic sectors in which Europe is developing, integrating and delivering high-quality products is the transportation domain. Here, high-class safety-related products as e.g. European airplanes, cars and trains have a huge market impact all over the world. More and more of the market value of these vehicles is gained by embedded systems inside these transportation products, and the number and importance of these embedded systems is steadily growing.

Embedded systems are small & hidden computers (not visible and not directly accessible for end users), often equipped with sensors and actuators which are controlling (parts of) the overall system (or product) in which they are embedded. Examples of embedded systems in transportation products are motor controllers, auto pilots, anti-lock braking systems, electronic stability controllers and lane assisting control systems. These type of systems are sometimes also called embedded intelligent systems as they are providing a virtual kind of intelligence to the product containing the embedded systems for the end user of the product (e.g. for a driver or a passenger).

Europe has a leading role in developing and applying high-quality embedded systems. One of the most important enablers to assure high quality & safety of embedded systems is the application of powerful validation and verification (V&V) technologies accompanying the embedded systems development process. Unfortunately, the V&V technologies already in industrial use are still too expensive while at the same time often not effective enough.

The ARTEMIS project MBAT will provide European industry with a new leading-edge technology which allows to develop high-quality & safe embedded systems at reduced costs in terms of time and money, focussing on V&V. This technology will be provided by the project in form of a so-called MBAT Reference Technology Platform, or MBAT RTP in short. In its essence, the MBAT RTP is a V&V environment for embedded systems allowing diverse V&V technologies (e.g. tools) to interact on a common platform.

The increased V&V power at reduced costs provided by the MBAT RTP will be made possible through a new and very promising V&V approach in which model-based testing technologies will be combined with static analysis techniques. Besides this combination, a further new approach is to use (and re-use) specially designed test & analysis models (T&A models) as basis for model-based V&V. This advanced model-based V&V technology will lead to a more effective and at the same time cost-reducing approach compared to those used so far.

At its most visible part, the MBAT RTP will combine static analysis and dynamic test tools that haven’t been tightly integrated or even connected to each other so far. The connection will be made possible by means of the RTP which can from this point of view (and from a very simple perspective) be viewed as serving as a communication medium between these V&V tools. However, the RTP is much more than that, also providing processes, methods, meta models, guidelines, training and much more meant to support the approach to get a benefit out of the combination described above. In addition, the MBAT RTP will be tailored to different application domains.

The MBAT RTP will be connected to other ARTEMIS RTPs extending existing ARTEMIS platforms to contribute to an overall ARTEMIS platform meant for the development & maintenance of embedded systems. Developed by industrial key players (large companies and SMEs) in the embedded systems domain and supported by leading research partners, the MBAT RTP will be of high value for the European industry, providing very effective means to assure utmost quality embedded systems at reduced costs.

MBAT is a strongly industrial-oriented project focussing on the transportation domain (aerospace, automotive and rail). Hence, it is strongly driven by industrial use cases provided by MBAT partners who are actively developing embedded systems based products such as cars, airplanes and trains. Although MBAT is focussing on this domain, the MBAT RTP will take care that this V&V RTP will basically also be usable in other domains (as e.g. telecommunication or manufacturing, to name only two).

The use-case driven approach in MBAT is the driving force in the project. The project has started with the use cases already defined in the MBAT FPP (i.e. at a time before the project has actually started) and they are continually further developed and refined during the course of the project. These use cases steer the development of the MBAT RTP and will later evaluate the industrial usefulness of the RTP. This will assure that the MBAT RTP is of real industrial benefit. Besides this, additional requirements on the RTP are taken into account. These are e.g. general requirements on an RTP (e.g. stated by ARTEMIS-JU), business requirements already identified during the MBAT project proposal phase (and described in the FPP), and also requirements to be taken into account to be able to connect the MBAT RTP to other ARTEMIS project RTPs (e.g. those of CESAR, iFEST, pSafeCer and more).

To show that the combination of static analysis and testing technologies yields into a real industrial benefit, the project will measure the improvements using the MBAT RTP compared to the application of other V&V solutions. For this, metrics are set up for use cases driven in the project and data are collected, e.g. how much it costs to develop, run and evaluate test cases with and without the MBAT RTP. The different types of measurement data will then be compared and are meant to show a cost reduction for V&V activities, a higher error detection rate or even both.

Additional information