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Test-driven development of embedded control systems: application in an automotive collision prevention system

Dohmke, Thomas (2008) Test-driven development of embedded control systems: application in an automotive collision prevention system. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

With test-driven development (TDD) new code is not written until an automated test has failed, and duplications of functions, tests, or simply code fragments are always removed. TDD can lead to a better design and a higher quality of the developed system, but to date it has mainly been applied to the development of traditional software systems such as payroll applications. This thesis describes the novel application of TDD to the development of embedded control systems using an automotive safety system for preventing collisions as an example. The basic prerequisite for test-driven development is the availability of an automated testing framework as tests are executed very often. Such testing frameworks have been developed for nearly all programming languages, but not for the graphical, signal driven language Simulink. Simulink is commonly used in the automotive industry and can be considered as state-of-the-art for the design and development of embedded control systems in the automotive, aerospace and other industries. The thesis therefore introduces a novel automated testing framework for Simulink. This framework forms the basis for the test-driven development process by integrating the analysis, design and testing of embedded control systems into this process. The thesis then shows the application of TDD to a collision prevention system. The system architecture is derived from the requirements of the system and four software components are identified, which represent problems of particular areas for the realisation of control systems, i.e. logical combinations, experimental problems, mathematical algorithms, and control theory. For each of these problems, a concept to systematically derive test cases from the requirements is presented. Moreover two conventional approaches to design the controller are introduced and compared in terms of their stability and performance. The effectiveness of the collision prevention system is assessed in trials on a driving simulator. These trials show that the system leads to a significant reduction of the accident rate for rear-end collisions. In addition, experiments with prototype vehicles on test tracks and field tests are presented to verify the system’s functional requirements within a system testing approach. Finally, the new test-driven development process for embedded control systems is evaluated in comparison to traditional development processes.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: test-driven development, embedded control systems, automotive collision prevention, active safety, development processes, graphical environments, test design, testing strategies, testing tools.
Subjects: T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering
Supervisor's Name: Gollee, Dr. Henrik and Hunt, Prof. Ken
Date of Award: 2008
Depositing User: Mr Thomas Dohmke
Unique ID: glathesis:2008-239
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2008
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:17
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/239

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