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New SEI Book on AADL Helps Developers Optimize Their Model-Based Engineering Processes

New SEI Book on AADL Helps Developers Optimize Their Model-Based Engineering Processes
October 16, 2012 • Announcement

October 16, 2012 —To help developers make the most of the Architecture Analysis and Design Language (AADL), two SEI researchers have published Model-Based Engineering with AADL (Addison-Wesley Professional 2012). The book—the first guide to using this international standard to optimize development processes—is coauthored by Peter H. Feiler and David P. Gluch. Feiler, a senior member of the SEI technical staff, served as technical lead and author of the SAE AS-2C AADL standard. Gluch serves as professor in the Department of Electrical, Computer, Software, and Systems Engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and is a visiting scientist at the SEI. 

The advent of complex, embedded, software-reliant systems has increasingly made build-then-test development practices inefficient and unaffordable. To address this challenge, a group of prominent industrial organizations collaborated with SAE (formerly, the Society of Automotive Engineers) to articulate the SAE Architecture Analysis &Design Language (AADL) AS-5506 Standard. 

First published in 2004 by SAE International, AADL is a modeling notation that employs both a textual and graphical representation. Version 2.1 of the standard was published in September 2012. AADL provides modeling concepts to describe the runtime architecture of application systems in terms of concurrent tasks, their interactions, and their mapping onto an execution platform. Development organizations use AADL to conduct lightweight, rigorous, yet comparatively inexpensive analyses of critical real-time factors such as performance, dependability, security, and data integrity. 

"When the original standard was published in 2004, we wrote SEI technical reports to introduce users to AADL the language and to modeling a control system," said Feiler. "Since then, AADL version 2 (2009), and a revision, 2.1 (2012), have come out, and the user base has grown. Because there was no book that provided an introduction to AADL for engineers and students, Dave Gluch and I set out to write this guide, which covers the latest published version of AADL."

Since its introduction, AADL has increasingly been adopted by organizations developing large, mission-critical systems. Among these are government entities, such as NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Defense, and the European Space Agency;industrial associations such as the Aerospace Vehicle Systems Institute;and major aerospace companies and contractors, such as Airbus, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Rockwell Collins, and GE Aviation. 

These organizations have employed AADL in a number of important projects and initiatives, such as the Systems Architecture Virtual Integration Initiative (SAVI);Correctness, Modeling and Performance of Aerospace Systems (COMPASS);and NASA Model-Based Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V). Additionally, hundreds of research initiatives have used AADL, and a number of universities—including Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Clemson University, Institut Supérieur de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace, Telecom ParisTech, and University of Brest—are addressing AADL in their embedded systems courses. 

In addition to Model-Based Engineering with AADL, a number of resources are available to help organizations considering AADL. The AADL Website and public AADL Wiki, hosted by the SEI, provide a repository of information on AADL, including the integration of AADL into development tools. The wiki document "Software-reliant System Validation with AADL" details various activities related to integrating analysis capabilities into the AADL tool framework.

"Maturation of a tool suite to industrial strength is currently ongoing that involves SAVI and a number of tool vendors," said Feiler. "The SAVI initiative has a multi-year effort in turning architecture-centric virtual integration into a practice and is currently signing up commercial tool vendors to integrate with the SAVI model repository approach."

Although the aerospace and space flight development communities have been early adopters of AADL, Feiler has noted growing interest from more earthbound fields. "There is strong interest in the use of AADL for medical device certification by the FDA," said Feiler. "For instance, Kansas State University is currently running a project called the Integrated Clinical Environment." 

The AADL standard will likely become applicable in a greater number of application domains as mission-critical software of all kinds grows in complexity and becomes embedded in a wider variety of devices and systems. Consequently, Model-Based Engineering with AADL can serve as a valuable resource to developers in many fields.

Readers of the SEI website are eligible for a 35% off discount when purchasing through InformIT. Enter the code FEILER2915 during checkout. The discount applies to both the eBook and print book versions.