Model-based software development - its real benefit

March 03, 2011 // By Manfred Broy, Helmut Krcmar, Jens Zimmermann, Sascha Kirstan
Model-based development becomes more and more popular in the development of embedded software systems in the car industry. But what is the real benefit of this approach? This article provides a detailed discussion of benefits and caveats, based on a recent global study.

1.    Introduction

Model-based development becomes more and more popular in the development of embedded software systems in the car industry. On the websites of tool vendors many success stories can be found, which report efficiency gains from up to 50% in the development, high error reductions and a more rapid increase of the maturity level of developed functions just because of model-based development. In the automotive industry there is a controversy about the benefit of model-based software development.

There are rumors in the industry that some companies report about cost savings and quality improvements because of model-based development and some companies report of no major changes or even about cost increases. This uncertainty, along with high upfront costs for the introduction of model-based development, even holds companies off from switching. The companies who have switched are interested how they can optimize the economics of their model-based development process, especially when they have no major benefits with a model-based development approach. Reliable and broadly spread research that analyses the status quo of model-based development and its effects on the economics are still missing. This article describes the results of a global study by Altran Technologies, the chair of software and systems engineering and the chair of Information Management of the University of Technology in Munich which examines the costs and benefits of model-based development of embedded systems in the car industry.

We want to find out what effects model-based development has on cost-, time- and quality changes and in addition identify factors which do have an important influence on the costs. These factors can be used by the companies as set screws to optimize the economics of their model-based development process.

In the following article a selection of the results of the study is described. At the beginning we focus on the development phases in which model-based development is actually being used, present the status of the seamlessness in the development

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