Ongoing projects

Modularization of modeling and simulation languages and their tools through explicit modeling of language fragments 01/11/2021 - 31/10/2023

Abstract

Cyber-Physical Systems (CPSs) are engineered systems of interacting computational and physical processes. Their engineering typically involves collaboration between multiple stakeholders from different domains, leading to complex concurrent workflows. The ever-increasing complexity of CPSs (more functionality, stricter energy, cost, safety requirements) is currently addressed by modeling and simulation. Modeling and simulation tools used in industry today are developed in a code-centric manner. This makes it impossible to reason at a higher level about complex, yet recurring features, such as the embedding of languages, debugging and live modeling. As a result, the implementation of such features becomes increasingly difficult, as they continue to evolve and combine legacy code. Central to this proposal is the Multi-Paradigm Modeling (MPM) approach, which advocates explicit modeling of all aspects of not only the system being engineered, but also of expected engineering workflows and, most importantly, of the modeling languages themselves. I want to advance MPM by enabling modularity of modelling languages, through the creation of a language fragment language and composition operators, for syntax and semantics. This will allow synthesis of modelling environments for new (e.g. hybrid) modelling languages, as well as de- and re-construction of existing languages.

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Automatic assisted design for assembly (AssistedDfA_icon). 01/10/2021 - 30/09/2023

Abstract

The design of mechanical assembly products has become a complex task in which design engineers have to rely on Computer Aided Design, software to correctly assess pricing and performance of their product. However, unlike performance and cost, assembly-related knowledge is hard to formalize and current commercial CAD tools do not provide adequate support to evaluate assemblability in an accurate and company specific way. This means companies still have to rely on iterative interactions between the designers and assembly experts, during which the assemblability of a product is evaluated manually based on check lists and expert knowledge. Due to this iterative process, assembly issues in the design result in an increased development cost and time, which is detrimental for company competitiveness. This problem is especially relevant with the ever-increasing complexity of assembly products and the current tendency of mixing human operators and collaborative robots (cobots) in the assembly processes, in which design flaws become more likely, further emphasizing the need for supporting tools. The goal of the project is to substantially reduce the time to market and development cost of mechanical assembly products by incorporating automated assemblability evaluation in the early stages of product design. This goal will be achieved by investigating and implementing algorithmic methods capable of interact with the designer by means of CAD software and 3D visualization tools. By allowing the designer to evaluate the assemblability in the early stages, the number of design re-iterations will be strongly reduced. AnSyMo Group (MICSS Lab) in Department of Computer Science, University of Antwerp is responsible for work package 2. The goal of this work package is to address the lack of a standardized model to capture assembly knowledge by developing a framework and methodology to formalize assembly information into a knowledge-base. AnSyMo and CodesignS will collect requirements from the manufacturing partners (Daikin, Voxdale, Alberts and Siemens) with the aim to extend the meta-model developed in the PACo SBO project to enable the formalization of assembly knowledge across the three levels of the technical strategy. Additionally, AnSyMo will develop a programmatic interface (API) to make the knowledge-base accessible from within a CAD environment and provide a Domain-specific Language (DSL) to define custom DfA rules programmatically (via the API).

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Efficient testing of control software (EFFECTS_ICON). 27/07/2021 - 31/08/2028

Abstract

The time and effort in the verification & validation of control software drastically increases, especially in the later stages. Many bugs are found late in the development lifecycle, companies face a high-level of regression, huge time losses for root-cause analysis, bug fixes, and retesting. As a result companies miss important time-to-market deadlines. The solution is well known: companies need to adopt the "shift left" ideology and frontload testing earlier in the development cycle where tests are easier to automate. While the benefits are well described, and many automation tools are available, companies fail to transition to a "shift left" test approach. To solve this, the EFFECTS projects aims to develop a holistic transition approach that works on two fronts, (i) a reduction of the current effort spent on testing to allow additional testing at earlier development phases, (ii) efficient creation of new tests well targeted to identified weak spots. The resulting framework will allow companies to smoothly transition to a "shift-left" test strategy.

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Smart Port 2025: improving and accelerating the operational efficiency of a harbour eco-system through the application of intelligent technologies. 01/03/2021 - 29/02/2024

Abstract

The Smart Port COOCK-project aims to improve operational efficiency in a harbour context, through the application of intelligent techniques. The project is mainly aimed at SMEs, but also at large corportations. Together, they form the value-chain of the harbour. The digital maturity of these actors will be increased by model (and "digital twins") and data-driven digitization. The project brings together both technology users and providers/integrators

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Nexor - Cyber-Physical Systems for the Industry 4.0 era 01/01/2021 - 31/12/2026

Abstract

The fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0 as it is commonly referred to) is driven by extreme digitalization, enabled by tremendous computing capacity, smart collaborating machines and wireless computer networks. In the last six years, Nexor — a multi-disciplinary research consortium blending expertise from four Antwerp research labs — has built up a solid track record therein. We are currently strengthening the consortium in order to establish our position in the European eco-system. This project proposal specifies our 2021 - 2026 roadmap, with the explicit aim to empower industrial partners to tackle their industry 4.0 challenges. We follow a demand driven approach, convincing industrial partners to pick up our innovative research ideas, either by means of joint research projects (TRL 5—7) or via technology licenses.

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Project website

SATIMAIR, SATellite IMage analysis for AIR quality on ships: an exploratory investigation. 01/01/2021 - 31/12/2022

Abstract

Sensor-based measuring campaigns in the accommodations of ships are able to identify numerous events. Unfortunately, the data do not contain enough information to identify the cause of these events. Some of the causes must be found in the immediate surroundings of the ship. Examples of such external causes are the ship entering a harbour where the air quality is worse, an inland ship passing by a factory that is emitting pollution, or a cue of ships that is waiting in front or inside a lock while all the engines are running. A huge amount of open data is generated by the satellites of the Copernicus-program. They can be used to analyse the surroundings of a ship along its journey and to find explanations for the events that are detected by air quality measuring campaigns performed inside the accommodations of ships.

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Collaborative Design Facility (CDF-Infra). 01/06/2020 - 31/05/2022

Abstract

With the evolution towards smart, interconnected products and production systems, the design of physical systems becomes more complex. Traditionally, the design process is rather sequential: engineers from different domains work on their own specific challenges and results are passed to the next group in the development process. This often leads to lengthy iterations. To solve this, companies are shifting to concurrent and multidisciplinary collaboration where engineers from different disciplines work in parallel on the same design. The organization and management of this concurrent process, without suitable HW and SW infrastructure support, requires time and resources which are drawn away from the core engineering tasks. The complexity increases further when the engineers are distributed across multiple locations and/or when different companies (OEMs, Tier1, …) are involved in the collaboration. The facility developed in this project will support collaborative model-based design.

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Framework for systematic design of digital twins (DTDesign). 01/04/2020 - 31/03/2023

Abstract

This project aims at developing a framework, comprising a methodology and supporting tools, for the systematic and efficient design of Digital Twins providing answers to two question types: (i) production parameters - product performance correlation and (ii) faults detection and diagnosis. The purpose of the framework is to support the user in choosing which data sets and models to combine and how to deploy them (Digital Twin implementation) to get an answer to the posed questions based on application specific requirements and criteria. The final goal is to use the developed framework to efficiently design Digital Twins and implement them for seven industrial use cases.

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SAILor: Safe Artificial Intelligence and Learning for Verification. 01/01/2020 - 31/12/2023

Abstract

Reactive synthesis is the act of automatically implementing a reactive system from a given formal specification so as to guarantee correctness by construction. It is especially useful when the desired system is safety critical, e.g. embedded controllers used in cars and ai lanes. Unfortunately, reactive synthesis is computationally hard and current synthesis tools are still not efficient enough to be used in practically relevant applications. Furthermore, systems obtained in this fashion tend to be overly pessimistic: since they must be correct regardless of what their environment does, they consider the environment to be fully antagonistic. This abstraction of reality is often too conservative. Recently, there has been a boom in the number of efficient artificial intelligence techniques applied to problems which are (theoretically) hard or even undecidable, while usually no formal correctness guarantees are given. These shortcomings raise the following question: Can we leverage machine learning techniques to implement better, more efficient synthesis tools? We propose to answer this question in two steps. First, we will study learning algorithms with formal correctness guarantees as well as the assumptions under which these guarantees are valid. Second, we will implement those algorithms and compare them against each other and the state-of-the-art synthesis tools based on automata and logic.

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CAST: Counter-Automata Algorithms for Software Verification Tools. 01/10/2019 - 30/09/2023

Abstract

Formal verification of reactive systems is an increasingly important research area of computer science. Modern systems now include features which make their design difficult and verifying their correctness very demanding. Companies such as Facebook and Amazon have teams dedicated to formally verifying their systems while, in academia, works on verification have already been lauded with two Turing awards in the last twenty years. As systems become more complex, more intricate models are required in order to capture their behaviour. Counter automata result from adding integer-valued counters to the widely studied model of finite automata. The formal verification community has found several uses for different classes of counter automata. This project aims at (i) contributing to the theory of automatic software verification --- in particular, model checking various classes of one-counter automata, (ii) translating those model-checking algorithms into semi-decision procedures implementable in existing interactive software verification tools, and (iii) guiding the development of the theory based on the limitations and capabilities of such tools.

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Mutation testing: fewer, smarter and faster. 01/01/2019 - 31/12/2022

Abstract

Software updates are omnipresent in today's society and every year ICT companies release faster. Tesla for example loads new software in its cars once every month; amazon goes even faster and pushes changes to its servers every 12 seconds! With such fast release cycles the need for effective quality gates is rising: software teams must take all possible steps to prevent that defects slip into production. In this project proposal we will investigate three different ways to improve mutation testing, which is the state of the art technique to verify the fault detection capacity of a test suite. We will pursue three different angles for improvement (fewer, smarter, and faster) to make mutation testing effective, even with such rapid release cycles.

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Meaningful and scaleable reuse and composition of models, with frames. 01/01/2019 - 31/12/2022

Abstract

The engineered systems , such as autonomous self-driving vehicles, that we (want to) design and build, are characterized by an ever increasing complexity , offering ever more advanced functionality and comfort. At the same time, the demands on energy efficiency and cost, but also on safety and reliability of those systems, become more stringent, in a quest for some form of optimal, fit-for-purpose designs. Furthermore, in a circular economy, we wish to take into account not only the product, but an ecosystem, spanning entire families of related products, over their entire life-cycle, including production, maintenance, and recycling. The fact that such advanced systems can be built today is largely thanks to the ubiquitous use of models . Models, encoding (for reuse) our knowledge about various aspects of a system or system component, can namely be used for "virtual experimentation" : to perform computer simulations to answer "what if" questions. Such questions allow us to explore different design alternatives. It is this capability that is fueling the 4 th industrial revolution. Models in complex engineered systems vary widely in nature and purpose. They may describe structure and behaviour of systems in different domains such as mechanical, electrical, software, and networks, or different views on the systems such as the stability/control view, the safety view, and the cost/efficiency view, at different levels of abstraction/detail/fidelity. The may also be used to describe and even prescribe (for automation purposes) the complex, concurrent development processes. Process models can be used for "what if" analysis of the engineering processes themselves, leading not only to optimal products, but also to optimal time-to-market. When "what if" analysis is automated , exploring billions of alternatives efficiently in a computer, reaching optimal products/production designs can be accelerated , taking a matter of days or weeks on a cloud computing infrastructure as opposed to the decades required for organic convergence over generations of human engineering improvements. Engineering is however hitting a wall, keeping us from a truly exponential leap in complex systems development . Though advanced computer support exists in the form of modelling languages, model management tools, simulators, etc. for "what if" analysis, managing the meaningful and correct (re)use of models is still a mostly human enterprise, for which no rigorous foundations nor advanced tooling exist. Being constrained by human capabilities, it is costly, slow, and error prone. In some important, yet restricted, areas such as Electronic Design Automation, such foundations and tooling do exist (and fuel a thriving billion $ market). For truly complex, multi-domain systems, knowledge is scattered, often either in experts' minds, or in the best case in text documents and spreadsheets. In this project, we propose to develop a foundational framework as well as prototype tooling for the computer-assisted/automated meaningful (re)use of models . The key to our approach is that we will "eat our own dog food" : we will now apply advanced modelling language engineering, model transformation, property specification, modelling and simulation techniques we have helped develop over the last decades, to explicitly model and reason about the context in which models can be meaningfully (re)used. We call such models "frames" after the original, but incomplete "experimental frames" idea proposed by Bernard Zeigler in the 1980s. Concretely, we will start by using our experience with the modelling language Modelica (for physical systems) and DEVS (for discrete-event modelling of software and networks) to develop the theoretical foundations and application of frames, initially on a representative autonomous vehicle case .

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Past projects

Dotation for the structural collaboration with Flanders Make. 01/01/2021 - 31/12/2021

Abstract

Flanders Make's mission is to strengthen the international competitiveness of the Flemish manufacturing industry on the long term through industry-driven, precompetitive, excellent research in the field of mechatronics, product development methods and advanced production technologies and by maximizing valorisation in these areas.

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Curriculum Development - Technical English for SPARK's Jobs & Perspectives Program with universities Iraq. 01/10/2020 - 30/06/2021

Abstract

As part of a development program for a renewed computer science curriculum in two universities in Iran we jointly develop a project centric approach towards introductory programming. We use python as development langiuage and state of the art tooling.

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Next level mutation testing: fewer, smarter & faster (NEXT-O-TEST). 01/01/2019 - 31/12/2021

Abstract

Software-updates are omnipresent in today's digital era and the release cycles within ICT companies are getting faster and faster. Tesla for example loads new software in its cars once every month; Amazon goes even faster and pushes changes to its servers every 12 seconds! With such fast release cycles the need for effective quality assurance is rising: software teams must take all possible steps to prevent defects from slipping into production. Today, mutation testing is the state-of-the-art technique to fully automatically assess the fault detection capacity of a software test suite. The approach is too slow for industrial adoption however. Therefore, the NEXT–O–TEST project will investigate three different ways to improve upon the state-of-the-art (fewer, smarter, and faster) to make mutation testing effective even in the presence of rapid release cycles. As such, NEXT–O–TEST will allow the NEXOR Consortium to strengthen its expertise on "quality control and test automation" and reinforce its position as a core lab within the Flanders Make research centre.

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Proof of concept for a decision support system to reduce the occupational risks of seafarers due to air quality. 01/01/2019 - 31/12/2020

Abstract

This project aims to explore the basic principles of a decision support system that allows the continuous monitoring of the working conditions of seafarers. For this purpose, it wants to (1) measure several environmental parameters simultaneously (e.g., temperature, light, NO2, O3, etc.), (2) convert the measurements into a global air quality, and (3) visualize the evolution in air quality so that seafarers can easily evaluate the working conditions. The system will be tested on a real-life case study.

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Automated Assistance for Developing Software in Ecosystems of the Future (SECO-ASSIST). 01/01/2018 - 31/12/2021

Abstract

Software ecosystems are the most promising avenue for organising the software needs of the digital era. Jointly funded by F.R.S.-FNRS and FWO-Vlaanderen, the four-year Excellence of Science Project SECO-ASSIST aims to realise a scientific breakthrough to nurture the ecosystems of the future, by providing novel software recommendation techniques that address the resilience, evolvability, heterogeneity, and social interaction. To achieve this the project partners will combine their expertise in social networks (UMONS), software testing (UAntwerpen), software reuse (VUB) and database evolution (UNamur).

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Project website

Mutation testing: fewer, smarter and faster. 01/01/2018 - 31/12/2018

Abstract

Software updates are omnipresent in today's society and every year ICT companies release faster. Tesla for example loads new software in its cars once every month; amazon goes even faster and pushes changes to its servers every 12 seconds! With such fast release cycles the need for effective quality gates is rising: software teams must take all possible steps to prevent that defects slip into production. In this project we will investigate three different ways to improve mutation testing, which is the state of the art technique to verify the fault detection capacity of a test suite. We will pursue three different angles for improvement (fewer, smarter, and faster) to make mutation testing effective, even with such rapid release cycles.

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EMPHYSIS - Embedded systems with physical model in the production code software. 01/10/2017 - 31/01/2021

Abstract

The major goal of the project is to enhance production code of embedded control systems in automotive vehicles in order to improve the performance of the underlying system: faster and safer operation, reduced energy consumption, reduced emission and reduced maintenance costs. Additionally, cost and time for the software development of these embedded systems shall be reduced. This is achieved by providing physics-based models from modelling and simulation tools in an automated and standardized way on electronic control units (ECU). By this approach physical models predicting the behaviour of the whole operating region of the target system are used in observers/virtual sensors, model-based diagnosis, or in advanced control algorithms (e.g., inverse models, non-linear dynamic inversion, model-predictive control) on ECUs to achieve significantly better vehicle performance.

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BOF Sabbatical Leave- Prof. Demeyer. 01/10/2017 - 28/02/2018

Abstract

During this sabbatical leave Prof. Serge Demeyer will test two algorithms under development in his research lab under realistic circumstances. He wil use the unique constellation available in the host institution in Sweden: a combination of data, infrastructure, research methods and industrial contacts. This projects prepares the nest step in his research concerning test automation: from TRL4 (technology validated in lab) naar TRL5 (technology validated in relevant environment). This step is critical for the continuing growth of the NEXOR IOF consortium en will ultimately contribute to the European Research theme "Industry 4.0".

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A Multi-Paradigm Modeling Foundation for Collaborative Multi-view Model/System Development. 15/07/2017 - 14/07/2018

Abstract

The complexity of current engineered systems has increased drastically over the last decades. The heterogeneity and the complex interplay between physical, software, and network components requires modeling these systems before they are built. These many models must be kept consistent, especially when multiple modelers collaborate on the development of a single system. Inconsistencies arise due to the semantic overlaps between elements in various models. By investigating inconsistencies at a high level of abstraction, it soon becomes clear that they are due to the complexity of the design processes. Humans can no longer comprehend the many relationships between models and their elements. The aim of this PhD project is to identify the causes of inconsistencies in the design of complex heterogeneous systems; to propose the most appropriate analysis and resolution techniques for detecting and fixing inconsistencies, respectively; and finally, to enable the (quantitative or qualitative) assessment of the consequences of applying one resolution technique or another. The work is validated, in collaboration with Flanders Make researchers, using an industrial case study of an "Automated Guided Vehicle" (AGV).

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Efficient Controller Software Variant Development and Validation (ECoVaDeVa_ICON). 01/01/2017 - 30/06/2019

Abstract

Challenge Companies that design and manufacture products face an increasing market demand for small series of customised products, resulting in a huge variability of the product portfolio and especially of the embedded controller software. Today, the development and validation of these controller software variants require a lot of manual effort. This results in long "time-to-market" cycles whenever a new variant is created and, in turn, to some reluctance to bring new product variants to the market, thereby missing business opportunities. Project goals This project aims at providing software product line methods, techniques and tools for the development of mechatronic software controller variants in view of significantly reducing the required development and validation time of new variants. More specifically, the project goals are as follows: For the development and validation of variants that can be built by selecting, combining and configuring existing software components, this project will deliver: 1.The necessary configuration tools to enable application engineers to build and validate industrial-size mechatronic software variants without requiring detailed knowledge of the software, plant and test architectures and of the modelling tools used by the different disciplines. 2.A methodology and toolbox that mechatronic companies can use to set up their mechatronic variant development and validation process, taking into account the specific requirements of each company. For the development and validation of variants that require modifications or additions to the various models involved in the development and validation of new variants, this project will create a prototype of a configurable inconsistency detection tool than can be customised by the different companies for their particular variant design process and tools. This tool allows to detect inconsistencies early in the development stage.

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A scaleable foundation for multi-paradigm modelling. 01/10/2016 - 31/08/2018

Abstract

This research aims to build a foundation for Multi-Paradigm Modelling in the form of the ModelVerse, a conceptual framework and a repository of multi-paradigm models. This forms the basis for distributed, collaborative modelling of systems as well as of the modelling languages used. To explicitly model modelling languages, their concrete and abstract syntax needs to be modelled (the latter in the form of meta-models), as well as their semantics. For semantics, either an interpreter/simulator needs to be provided or a mapping (transformation) to an already known formalism needs to be specified. The ModelVerse supports model manipulations such as documentation, analysis, simulation, (software) synthesis and evolution. All are based on model transformation. This project is funded by the Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek - Vlaanderen (FWO).

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Optimising continuous delivery for small software teams. 01/10/2016 - 30/09/2017

Abstract

Continuous delivery is the production process currently in use within Facebook and Google, notorious for its ultra-fast yet ultra reliable release cycle. On the surface, continuous delivery is an ideal solution for small technology companies, since it allows them to rapidly respond to specialized needs of demanding customers. However, the particular nature of small software teams raises a few challenges, which we seek to address by advanced tooling infrastructure (i.e. change-based mutation testing, penetration testing).

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ITEA 15010 REVAMP2: Reverse engineering and variability management platform and process. 01/09/2016 - 31/08/2019

Abstract

This project aims to construct the ReVAMP2 Tool Chain, a round-trip engineering platform with tool support for extracting features from existing assets. This tool chain will be supported by guidelines and lessons learned drawn from cases coming from a multitude of industry domains.

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Foundations for Co-Simulation. 01/01/2016 - 31/12/2019

Abstract

The engineered systems of today are characterized by an ever increasing complexity. This complexity is often due, not only to a large number of compontents, but above all to heterogeneity of their components. To deal with this heterogeneity, and with the need to protect Intellectual Property (IP) of the authors of the components, co-simulation proposes to not expose the models inside components, but rather to orchestrate their simulation, using the minimal information necessary from the components to guarantee overall correct simulation. This thesis will work on the following problems: 1. To ensure correctness of the developed co-simulation protocols, automata models (for example, in UPPAAL) will be built of these protocols which are amenable to model checking. 2. The further development of the Functional Mockup Interface (FMI) co-simulation standard by investigating exactly what information needs to be exposed to allow for correct and efficient co-simulation. Both the mapping onto know formalisms (such as DEVS) and semantic adaptation will be investigated. The relationship with the High-Level Architecture (HLA) for distributed discrete-event simulation will be investigated. This, and the link with DEVS may lead to new features such as hierarchical co-simulation. 3. The briding of the continuous-discrete gap. This is an issue in so-called hybrid models, where continuous-time models such as differential equations are combined with discrete-time or discrete-event models. These typically result from the modelling of a physical system in its interaction with a software controller and possibly a network. In hybrid models, numerical approximations are made when discretizing continuous models to make them computable on digital devices. Furthermore, modelling constructs and techniques allowing state-event location are necessary. In this research, the primitives for modelling and co-simulation of hybrid models will be investitgated.

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Next generation of heterogeneous sensor networks (NEXOR). 01/01/2015 - 31/12/2020

Abstract

This project represents a research contract awarded by the University of Antwerp. The supervisor provides the Antwerp University research mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions stipulated by the university.

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Multi-Paradigm Modelling for Cyber-Physical Systems (MPM4CPS). 01/01/2015 - 30/04/2018

Abstract

The main objective of the action is to enhance the quality, visibility and impact of Europeanresearch and industrial adoption in the transdisciplinary area of Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) by unification through Multi-Paradigm Modelling.

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A scaleable foundation for multi-paradigm modelling. 01/10/2014 - 30/09/2016

Abstract

This research aims to build a foundation for Multi-Paradigm Modelling in the form of the ModelVerse, a conceptual framework and a repository of multi-paradigm models. This forms the basis for distributed, collaborative modelling of systems as well as of the modelling languages used. To explicitly model modelling languages, their concrete and abstract syntax needs to be modelled (the latter in the form of meta-models), as well as their semantics. For semantics, either an interpreter/simulator needs to be provided or a mapping (transformation) to an already known formalism needs to be specified. The ModelVerse supports model manipulations such as documentation, analysis, simulation, (software) synthesis and evolution. All are based on model transformation. This project is funded by the Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek - Vlaanderen (FWO).

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Project website

Dotation for the structural collaboration with Flanders Make. 01/06/2014 - 31/12/2020

Abstract

Flanders Make's mission is to strengthen the international competitiveness of the Flemish manufacturing industry on the long term through industry-driven, precompetitive, excellent research in the field of mechatronics, product development methods and advanced production technologies and by maximizing valorisation in these areas.

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MBSE4 Mechatronics. 01/01/2014 - 31/12/2017

Abstract

This project represents a research agreement between the UA and on the onther hand IWT. UA provides IWT research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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Explicit modelling of model debugging and experimentation 01/01/2014 - 31/12/2017

Abstract

The Modelling and Simulation (M&S) approach to systems design can only be successful if the modeller (often a domain expert, such as an automotive engineer) has access to advanced tools which enable the creation of models and provide the necessary framework for performing simulation and deployment of models onto hardware. The environment should allow the modeller to have sufficient control over the simulation execution. During this project, I will transpose current best-practices in code debugging to the M&S world and explicitly model simulation environments for a number of distinct modelling formalisms, as well as for their combinations. This will result in a number of prototype implementations, which I will validate using industrial case studies.

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Air Identification Registration for Cultural Heritage: Enhancing Climate Quality (AIRCHECQ). 01/12/2013 - 31/05/2019

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand the Federal Public Service. UA provides the Federal Public Service research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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Testing of rule-based model transformations. 01/10/2013 - 31/12/2013

Abstract

The research objectives of this project are threefold: (1) to formalize model transformation requirements, (2) to automatically generate a set of input test models for a rule-based transformation, capable of revealing errors in a transformation and (3) to develop a novel oracle function, to test the implementation of a model transformation specification.

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Change-centric Quality Assurance (Cha-Q) (Changes as First Class Citizens during Software Development). 01/01/2013 - 31/12/2016

Abstract

This project represents a research agreement between the UA and on the onther hand IWT. UA provides IWT research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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Concurrency in a machine model supporting multidimensional separation of concerns. 01/10/2012 - 30/09/2014

Abstract

This project aims to explore concurrency features within the research area of languages that support "multidimensional separation of concerns" (MDSOC), such as aspect-, context- or feature-oriented languages. The addition of MDSOC mechanisms that take into account concurrency will result in MDSOC languages being more expressive and potentially having better performance, which in turn make MDSOC languages a more attractive means to develop concurrent applications. Examples of such mechanisms include: the cflow pointcut, thread-local crosscutting modules and concurrent crosscutting modules. In order to provide a clear and elegant description of these mechanisms, a formal operational semantics is required. Instead of providing this semantics at the language level, an extended version of a virtual machine model called delMDSOC will be used, the semantics of which is specified in the form of graph rewrite rules. This model serves as a platform for a wide range of MDSOC languages. In this project, the semantics of different types of MDSOC languages, having different concurrency models, will be provided using the same extended delMDSOC virtual machine. Hence, it becomes possible to compare the differences and similarities in the added MDSOC mechanisms between different languages.

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Optimization and parallellisation of real-time media processing on embedded systems by abstraction of software-and hardwarebehaviour. 01/09/2012 - 31/08/2016

Abstract

This project represents a research agreement between the UA and on the onther hand IWT. UA provides IWT research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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Study of the interaction between automotive software and its environment by means of modeling and co-simulation. 01/01/2012 - 31/12/2015

Abstract

During the development of software-intensive systems, such as automative applications, simulation is required to test models and assumptions during each phase of the development process. This project investigates techniques to support efficient and correct co-simulation of model components. This focus is on the co-simulation of the software and its environment.

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Impact analysis of software maintenance using software traceability. 01/01/2012 - 31/12/2013

Abstract

This project represents a research agreement between the UA and on the onther hand IWT. UA provides IWT research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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Concurrency in a machine model supporting multi-dimensional separation of concerns. 01/10/2010 - 30/09/2012

Abstract

This project aims to explore concurrency features within the research area of languages that support "multidimensional separation of concerns" (MDSOC), such as aspect-, context- or feature-oriented languages. The addition of MDSOC mechanisms that take into account concurrency will result in MDSOC languages being more expressive and potentially having better performance, which in turn make MDSOC languages a more attractive means to develop concurrent applications. Examples of such mechanisms include: the cflow pointcut, thread-local crosscutting modules and concurrent crosscutting modules. In order to provide a clear and elegant description of these mechanisms, a formal operational semantics is required. Instead of providing this semantics at the language level, an extended version of a virtual machine model called delMDSOC will be used, the semantics of which is specified in the form of graph rewrite rules. This model serves as a platform for a wide range of MDSOC languages. In this project, the semantics of different types of MDSOC languages, having different concurrency models, will be provided using the same extended delMDSOC virtual machine. Hence, it becomes possible to compare the differences and similarities in the added MDSOC mechanisms between different languages.

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Impact analysis of software maintenance using software traceability. 01/01/2010 - 31/12/2011

Abstract

This project represents a research agreement between the UA and on the onther hand IWT. UA provides IWT research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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Evolution of Modelling Languages. 01/01/2010 - 31/12/2010

Abstract

In model-driven engineering, evolution is inevitable over the course of the complete life cycle of complex software-intensive systems and more importantly of entire product families. Not only instance models, but also entire modelling languages are subject to change. This is in particular true for domain-specific languages. Up to this day, modelling languages are evolved manually, with tedious and error-prone migration of artifacts such as instance models as a result. In this project, the different evolution scenarios for various kinds of modelling artifacts, such as instance models, meta-models and transformation models are researched. Subsequently, evolution is de-composed into four primitive scenarios such that all possible evolutions can be covered. This structured approach enables the design of solution for (semi-)automatic modelling language evolution.

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Sources guidelines for critical embedded systems (KriCode). 01/10/2009 - 30/09/2011

Abstract

This project represents a research agreement between the UA and on the onther hand IWT. UA provides IWT research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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Refactoring in languages supporting multi-dimensional separation of concerns. 01/10/2009 - 30/09/2010

Abstract

This project aims to study refactoring for languages with support for "multi-dimensional separation of concerns" (MDSoC), such as aspect-oriented and context-oriented languages. MDSoC languages offer powerful constructions that provide a better way to divide software into a set of different concerns, making it easier to develop and maintain software.

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Scientific mission on Mining Software Repositories at the University of Zurich. 01/08/2009 - 31/01/2010

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Study of the technical impact of the AUTOSAR-standards on automotive software. 01/10/2008 - 28/02/2013

Abstract

In the area of automotive electronics, software is becoming increasingly more prominent. The AUTOSAR consortium aims to consolidate this, but the technical impact of their standards is not sufficiently known. Therefore, we will investigate the technical footprint of these standards. This will lead to a more efficient use of performance and memory in automotive embedded systems.

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Transforming Human Interface Designs via Model Driven Engineering. 01/01/2008 - 31/12/2011

Abstract

This research project is centred around three research questions: -Formal Semantics. What is the best way to formalise the semantics of a task modelling notation such as ConcurTaskTrees? -Correctness. Based on the formal semantics, can we prove the correctness of task model transformations? -Quality Properties. Can we identify and prove useful properties regarding these transformations?

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Optimized MP-SoC Middleware for Event-driven Applications (OPTIMMA). 01/01/2008 - 31/12/2011

Abstract

The OptiMMA projects will enable the mapping of emerging, dynamic software applications on complex Multi-Processor Systems-on-Chip (MP-SoC). This will be achieved through the use of Middleware components, which will be able to mediate between embedded software and the hardware platforms. Thus, the manage -at run-tim- the memory storage, energy consumption, bandwidth and computation resources of the embedded system. Modeling and customization of the Middleware components is a key element of the OptiMMA project. It will creatie a broad user base and enable the valorization of the results among a wide body of economic actors in Flanders, including economic actors that specialize in multimedia and telecommunication applications on mobile devices, medical imaging devices, embedded software design, hardware platforms design, design tools, etc.

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From specific targeting to a generic target platform (VOLGES). 29/10/2007 - 28/10/2009

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Fundamentele belangen in Software Engineering: Modelleren, Verifiërene en Evolueren van Software. (MoVES) 01/01/2007 - 31/12/2011

Abstract

Software-intensive systems are among the most complex artefacts ever built. In the development of such systems, the use of rigorous models and analysis methods is essential to make sure that the software satisfies its requirements and exhibits the desired properties (e.g., safety, security, reliability, consistency). At the same time, in order to adapt to the constantly changing requirements and technology, these systems must be able to evolve over time, without breaking their essential properties. This project combines the leading Belgian research teams in software engineering, with recognised scientific excellence in model-driven engineering (MDE), software evolution, formal modelling and verification (FMV) and aspect-oriented software development (AOSD). The project aims to advance the state of the art in each of these domains. The long term objective of our network is to strengthen existing collaborations and forge new links between those teams, and to leverage and disseminate our research expertise in this domain at a European level.

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"Separation of Concerns" with High Level Software Models. 01/10/2006 - 30/09/2008

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Chair "Migration to Service Oriented Architectures". 01/09/2006 - 31/12/2010

Abstract

This project aims to exchange knowledge and experience concerning the migration towards service-oriented architectures. This project will result in a handbook documenting the experiences and a series of about 8 lectures organized by the University of Antwerp and the KBC-ICT.

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Guidelines for Improving the Testprocess During Software Maintenance. 01/01/2006 - 31/12/2006

Abstract

The goal of this project is to develop an efficient process for the maintenance of software tests, where a given set of known problems in the test code (so called "test smells) will be tackled by means of test maintenance patterns. The primary scenario driving this research is the selective improvement of a particular piece of test code before implementing a change request.

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ITEA SERIOUS : Software evolution, refactoring of operational & usable systems. 01/09/2005 - 31/08/2008

Abstract

Embedded systems are becoming increasingly complex, more diverse, and are frequently expanded to include more features. As a consequence, the software is constantly changing: within Alcatel Bell rates of 10,000 lines of code changed per week are the norm. Unfortunately, high change rates inevitably erode a well-designed well-documented system and quickly turn it into a maintenance nightmare. Alcatel Bell's internal development processes are certified with CMM level 3. However these processes do not contribute to the long-term evolution of software. Indeed, the addition of new features sometimes introduces unexpected bugs, breaks design decisions, and distorts documentation. Consequently, it is hard to assess which software components should be refactored and to estimate the effort required to do so. Therefore, the SERIOUS project aims to develop methods, metrics and tools to maintain ---even increase--- the quality of the software during its evolution. In Belgium the project partners are Alcatel Bell (http://www.alcatel.be/) and the University of Antwerp, research group LORE (http://www.lore.ua.ac.be/). However, this local consortium participates in a larger ITEA context with other companies in Europe such as Philips and Nokia.

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International workshop on principles of software evolution. 01/09/2005 - 30/09/2005

Abstract

The International Workshop on Principles of Software Evolution (IWPSE) is the flagship workshop for research on software evolution and as such it is the prime candidate for publishing the end results of the RELEASE project. Several members of the RELEASE network are part of the organization committee and we agreed to have a special slots devoted solely to RELEASE results. Several members of the network submitted papers and six of them have been accepted after rigorous reviewing by the program committee. Therefore, we request to use RELEASE money for participating in what we see as the "grand finale" of the RELEASE network.

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Workshop on Object-Oriented reengineering. 01/06/2005 - 30/09/2005

Abstract

The ability to reengineer object-oriented legacy systems has become a vital matter in today's software industry. Early adopters of the object-oriented programming paradigm are now facing the problems of transforming their object-oriented "legacy" systems into full-fledged frameworks. This Workshop on Object-Oriented Reengineering wants to gather people working on solutions for object-oriented legacy systems, and will be set up as a forum for exchanging experiences, discussing solutions, and exploring new ideas. We explicitly sollicit experience reports from the software industry as well as contributions from tool produces and methodology providers.

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Formal support for the transormation of software models. 01/01/2005 - 31/12/2008

Abstract

The software development process consists of a sequence of consecutive phases, such as requirement analysis, high level design, detailed design, implementation and validation [SommOO, Jacog9]. A typical characteristic of the software lifecycle is a gradual evolution from abstract, declarative models to concrete, computational ones. For each of the phases a well-founded theoretical basis is available, as well as a significant body of knowledge and experience [Gammg4, Jacog2, Wirf9O, Bind9g]. One of the major problems in the development of software systems is a lack of adequate support for evolution, i.e. evolution throughout the lifecycle as well as evolution in time [Lehm 85]. Consecutive models arl hardly related, so that in practice various phases of the development cycle are only marginally or not at all worked out. Moreover, a modification of a software system often requires manual changes to all of the models of the consecutive phases. Therefore, in practice, modifications are often carried through only at the lowest levels and nqt documented properly. This results in so-called legacy systems, that embody complex functionality, but that have lost their overall structure, making it possible to maintain them in a cost-efficient way.

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"Separation of Concerns" with High Level Software Models. 01/10/2004 - 30/09/2006

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Ebusiness in the Farmaceutical Care. 20/02/2004 - 31/08/2004

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Development of energy conscious software refactoring techniques for embedded systems. 01/02/2004 - 31/12/2005

Abstract

The goal of the research project is the development of new heuristics and new software tools for the exploration and optimalisation of the power- and memory consumption of embedded software systems. De new heuristics and tools aim explicitly at a high abstraction level and will enable the exploration of the data structures used within the embedded software system.

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A Formal Foundation for Software Refactoring. 01/01/2003 - 31/12/2006

Abstract

The aim of the project is to provide a solid foundation for software refactoring by the development of a suitable formal model. We aim at a lightweight model, facilitating the investigation of basic properties of refactoring, as well as the design of tools supporting the refactoring process. In particular, the potential of graph rewriting as a basis for such a model will be explored. This should lead to, e.g., methods for the detection of conflicting refactorings, and methods for the optimization of refactoring processes. Thirdly, the question whether a given set of refactorings is allowable in the sense that it preserves program behaviour is obviously related to the characterization of graph properties that are preserved by the corresponding rewriting rules. Other important aspects are the complexity of refactorings, which can be studied in terms of the number of graph rewriting steps needed, perhaps in combination with the sizes of the graphs involved, and the issue of consistency between various levels of abstraction, which is related to work about hierarchical graphs.

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Syntactic and Semantic Integration of Visual Modelling Techniques. (SegraVis) 01/10/2002 - 30/09/2006

Abstract

Both in software engineering and in the more classical engineering disciplines, the use of visual notations, e.g. for documentation and communication with customers, has a long tradition. Driven by the increasing complexity of the problems such notations have become more elaborate, and have evolved towards tool-supported visual modeling techniques. Two of the most successful classes of visual modeling techniques are the main focus of the project: on the one hand UML, and on the other hand graph- and net-based techniques. A general paradigm for the classification and integration is required, which helps to make explicit semantic variations and to generate tools from formal language definitions. The aim of the project is to develop such a paradigm, to demonstrate its applicability, and to improve visual modeling techniques in specific application domains.

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ARRIBA : Architectural Resources for the Restructuring and Integration of Business Applications. 01/10/2002 - 30/09/2006

Abstract

The aim of this project is to provide a methodology and its associated tools in order to support the integration of disparate business applications that have not necessarily been designed to coexist. Inspiration comes from real concerns that are the result of an investigative effort on the part of some of the research partners in this consortium; the object of the investigation was the identification of mainstream ICT problems with a representative forum of Belgian enterprises (large and small) that rely on information technology for their critical business activities.

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Network on Proposed Software Evolution. (RELEASE) 01/01/2002 - 31/12/2004

Abstract

The study of software evolution has become increasingly essential to ensure that IT systems perform well throughout their lifecycle, and this Network is creating the multidisciplinary framework needed to expand research on a pan-European basis. In particular, the network will (a) investigate an overall theory of software evolution (similar to the theories underlying other scientific disciplines); (b) develop benchmarks to improve the validity of scientific experiments. The Network builds on an existing smaller-scale research network on software evolution funded by the FWO (Fund for Scientific Research - Flanders, Belgium).

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Foundations of Software Evolution. 01/01/2001 - 31/12/2005

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