Round-trip engineering is key to AUTOSAR
After seven years of development, AUTOSAR has finally arrived in series production. For the development of AUTOSAR-compliant control units, engineers use a variety of different tools, which are applied in different phases of the process. The software architecture is generated with an authoring tool such as Vehicle Systems Architect (VSA) from Mentor Graphics, while the functional behavior of AUTOSAR software components is modeled with tools such as MATLAB and Simulink from MathWorks. Vehicle manufacturers and suppliers use different workflows top-down or bottom-up depending on whether they want to develop control-unit functionality from scratch or on the basis of existing software and models. One of AUTOSAR's strengths is the standardization of interface description formats of various design artifacts, e.g. software component descriptions.
These descriptions, along with the models of the above mentioned tools, make it easier for development teams to collaborate and communicate amongst themselves. This also improves OEM and supplier relationships throughout all development phases. It is essential that the tools in use support all over design iterations the so-called round-trip engineering. The challenge here is to make sure that intermediate results with regard to AUTOSAR artifacts, such as ports, interfaces and data elements, remain consistent when they are exchanged between different tools. This is especially important in the interaction between tools used in Model-Based Design to model functional behavior and the AUTOSAR authoring tool for architecture modeling.
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