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DaimlerChrysler describes new approach to automotive software development

Engineers at DaimlerChrysler AG’s Research and Technology Centre in Ulm, Germany have described their experiences using a new approach to solving complex automotive software product configuration problems.

In a conference paper, the authors characterize embedded automotive software in terms of its high-degree of variability – variability arising from the characteristics of different vehicle hardware, different target markets and different legal regimes.

The authors’ novel solution to the problem is to integrate the widely used MATLAB / Simulink tool with pure variants, a tool designed specifically to solve complex configuration problems.

In the paper, two alternative integration schemes are evaluated. In the first approach, pure::variants is used to generate an XML description of an individual product variant which is then imported into Simulink.

In the second approach, pure variants is used to generate MATLAB scripts describing the product variant and these are then imported into Simulink. This second scheme requires more information about the software architecture to be modelled in pure::variants but the authors conclude that this is beneficial because of greater transparency in the configuration process.

The paper was presented as part of the 3rd Workshop on Automotive Software Engineering, which took place at the Informatik 2005 conference held in Bonn, Germany 19th – 22nd September.

Find out more about pure variants at the Software Acumen website.

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