Description and Analysis of Networked Applications

Features such as modern driver assistance and infotainment systems are becoming a key purchase criteria for car buyers, a trend that has placed growing importance on this area for automobile manufacturers and suppliers. With the number of services and level of networking in the vehicle constantly on the rise, the complexity of the embedded systems in the automobile is also increasing. Another trend in this area is the growth of multivendor systems, such as those being driven by the GENIVI standardization, which integrate services from various providers into a single hardware platform.

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The DANA platform is a showcase for verification methods supporting different phases of the complete development process of networked embedded systems. The open and expandable platform can be utilized for supporting the development of networked software functions in a model-driven way.

Because of the open system architecture, automated tool-based verification during the design phase is an important aspect. Ensuring that the vehicle functions exhibit a high level of quality requires the creation of innovative verification strategies that can be applied when developing automobile infotainment and driver assistance services.

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This screencast demonstrates how DANA can be used to find and inspect anomalies in live and recorded communication traces. After detecting an anomaly, DANA continues verification and reports all detectable deviations, e.g., unexpected, missing and malformed messages as well as violations of timing requirements.

Complete Verification

© Fraunhofer ESK

Vordergrund Grafik; Hintergrund Laptop und Maus auf Glasplatte, weiß

As part of the DANA project, researchers at Fraunhofer ESK are working with BMW AG, BMW Research and Technology GmbH, Elektrobit Automotive GmbH and itestra GmbH to create an open and expandable tool platform supporting the complete development process of automobile infotainment and driver assistance systems. The plan is to eventually utilize the platform for developing vehicle functions, such as GENIVI-based systems. The verification of automobile services involves various aspects like the communication infrastructure, application logic and user data, each of which must be handled differently during the verification process.

Model-Based Development

As part of this effort, ESK researchers are developing a method for modeling the communication behavior and application logic associated with vehicle services. By separating the function and the corresponding communication behavior, each aspect can be specifically modeled, making the models easier to reuse. The method also integrates the syntactic and semantic verification of the interfaces and the interaction of the distributed components and services. Furthermore, the characteristic infotainment user data differs from the rest of the system control data in the vehicle. For this reason, the DANA project involves specifically examining the modeling of the user data in addition to the modeling of the control flows for infotainment and driver assistance services.

Multilayer Reference Model

In this project, researchers are developing a multilayer model structure for specifying driver assistance and infotainment systems. This concept permits reuse of the models in further development phases. By generating simulation code from the models, the interaction of the various services can be tested in an early development phase. In addition, the automated generation of test scenarios and test data allows developers to analyze simple processes and test sequences. The models can also be used as reference models for monitoring the system-under-test at runtime and for verifying the correct functionality of the service. Automated verification during all steps of the development process of infotainment and driver assistance systems offers the advantages of shorter development times and better software quality.

Eclipse-Based Platform

Efficiently integrating the verification of future vehicle services into the automobile software development process requires a corresponding tool platform. Monolithic, individual solutions are currently being utilized for the model-based design and verification of automobile functions. This leads to tool manufacturer dependence and complicates the integration of existing tool chains. Adapting and expanding these tools to address specific issues is also limited. An open platform such as Eclipse offers an alternative tool for the model-based development and verification of automobile services. This platform makes it possible to easily integrate the verification process into an existing tool chain and permits the manufacturer-independent utilization of basic functions such as saving the model. With this in mind, the DANA project is pursuing the development of an Eclipse-based tool environment for the modeling, simulation and testing of driver assistance and infotainment services in future vehicles.

Fraunhofer ESK is further expanding its know-how in the field of model-based development and verification of automotive software systems through the DANA project. In this area, ESK researchers offer automobile manufacturers and suppliers their expertise during the development of tool platforms. They also provide support, from design to implementation, during the development of tool platforms for the iterative, model-based development of automotive software, as well as during the integration of individual development tools into existing tool chains.

This project was funded by the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology.