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Integrating Early to Prevent Costly Problems


In a 2014–15 shadow exercise, the SEI rapidly detected potential integration issues early in Joint Multi-Role (JMR) development that traditional approaches missed, using its Architecture-Centric Virtual Integration Practice (ACVIP). The findings led to ACVIP adoption by JMR contractors and its inclusion in RFPs for new projects.

The roots of ACVIP are in SEI research into virtual integration that began in 1998. Unlike the traditional development approach of design–build components–integrate–test, the virtual integration approach employs architectural modeling to make sure the components work together before building components in conformance to the model.

DoD line funding enabled the SEI to lead the technical development of the SAE Architecture Analysis and Design Language standard (established in 2004) for the specification, analysis, automated integration, and code generation of real-time, performance-critical, distributed computer systems. Line funding, together with sponsorship by the Army and others, enabled the SEI to produce the Open Source AADL Tool Environment (OSATE) workbench for implementing virtual integration.

In 2008, the international Aerospace Vehicle Systems Institute (AVSI), whose membership includes defense industry organizations, chose AADL and OSATE for its System Architecture Virtual Integration (SAVI) initiative, based on evidence that the technologies offer a means to achieve an integrate-then-build approach to evolving complex systems.

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