Tools & Methods

An architecture-centric and model-based approach to the predictable engineering of software-reliant systems builds on tools that support repeated analysis early in and throughout the development life cycle.

The SEI is involved in the development of the Architecture Analysis and Design Language (AADL) standard and in the investigation of how it can be used to compose and recompose embedded, stand-alone, and product line systems, as well as systems of systems. The AADL provides a framework that allows analysis of system (and system of systems) designs prior to development and supports an architecture-centric, model-based development approach throughout the system life cycle.

To support the use of AADL, the SEI has made available the Open Source AADL Tool Environment (OSATE). Developed on top of the open-source Eclipse environment, OSATE is made available under an open-source, no-fee license agreement to provide a low-cost entry point to industry and to academia.

OSATE can be used to develop tools that operate on AADL models. OSATE can be used in the context of

  • an interface to an existing tool by exporting into a tool-specific model representation
  • an interface to a Java implementation of an analysis capability
  • an analysis that operates directly on an AADL model

OSATE analysis plug-ins are available for performing various architecture consistency checks and distributed resource allocation and scheduling analysis.

Use of AADL and OSATE plug-ins produces quantitative results that predict the performance of a software-reliant system. The analysis can be used as evidence supporting claims about the system. An assurance case provides the structure to marshall analysis, testing, and other evidence to support claims as part of an argument that justifies confidence in the system.