Embedded systems group in SPLC 2015 conference

Researchers of the embedded systems group have presented a paper in the Software Product Line Conference, which was held in Nashville, USA. The paper, which is entitled «Test control algorithms for the validation of Cyber-Physical Systems Product Lines» is authored by Aitor Arrieta, Goiuria Sagardui and Leire Etxeberria, and proposes a modular test control strategy to optimize the validation stages of Cyber-Physical Systems (CPSs) product lines.

CPSs product lines are systems with large variability to give solution to the needs that the customer demand. Due to this variability, these systems can get configured into plenty of configurations, and all of them cannot be tested. In addition, testing CPSs product lines is even more time consuming than Software Product Lines (SPLs). This is caused due to the physical layer of the CPS, which has to be simulated and considerably increases the simulation time. In addition, as CPSs involve different engineering domains (such as mechanical, electronic, etc.), and co-simulation tools are often needed to allow interaction among different simulators. The interaction of several simulation tools also increases the simulation time.

The goal of the paper is to provide a methodology that reduces the validation time of these systems. The methodology combines a control strategy into three layers: (1) the domain test control selects relevant configurations that must be tested, (2) the application test control chooses the test cases and the order of them and (3) the simulation test control manages the execution of the test cases in a simulation tool.



Figure 1: Test Control Architecture for CPSs product lines

The paper was part of the systems engineering track, which is a new track in the SPLC conference, and which attracted many researchers and industrial practitioners. The study is inside the scope of the Ph.D. project of Aitor Arrieta, which studies methodologies to efficiently and automatically support configurable CPSs testing. Part of the test control algorithms was developed and further studied in a research stay in Simula Research Laboratory.

SPLC is the leading conference of the Software Product Line Engineering community. This  year was held in Nashville, which is the music city. Researchers that assisted to SPLC enjoyed live music in the restaurants and bars from the Broadway  street of the city. Moreover, the conference dinner was held in the General Jackson cruise, which allowed the dinner guests enjoy great views of the downtown of the  city and listen some country music while discussing possible research collaborations.


Figure 2: Downtown view from the General Jackson Cruise


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