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Computer-Based System Engineering

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Presentation on theme: "Computer-Based System Engineering"— Presentation transcript:

1 Computer-Based System Engineering
Chapter 2 Computer-Based System Engineering

2 Topics covered Emergent system properties
Systems and their environment System modelling The system engineering process System procurement

3 What is a system? A purposeful collection of inter-related components working together towards some common objective. A system may include software, mechanical, electrical and electronic hardware and be operated by people. System components are dependent on other system components The properties and behaviour of system components are inextricably inter-mingled

4 Problems of systems engineering
Large systems are usually designed to solve 'wicked' problems Systems engineering requires a great deal of co-ordination across disciplines Almost infinite possibilities for design trade-offs across components Mutual distrust and lack of understanding across engineering disciplines Systems must be designed to last many years in a changing environment

5 Software and systems engineering
The proportion of software in systems is increasing. Software-driven general purpose electronics is replacing special-purpose systems Problems of systems engineering are similar to problems of software engineering Software is (unfortunately) seen as a problem in systems engineering. Many large system projects have been delayed because of software problems

6 Emergent properties Properties of the system as a whole rather than properties that can be derived from the properties of components of a system Emergent properties are a consequence of the relationships between system components They can therefore only be assessed and measured once the components have been integrated into a system

7 Examples of emergent properties
The overall weight of the system This is an example of an emergent property that can be computed from individual component properties. The reliability of the system This depends on the reliability of system components and the relationships between the components. The usability of a system This is a complex property which is not simply dependent on the system hardware and software but also depends on the system operators and the environment where it is used.

8 Types of emergent property
Functional properties These appear when all the parts of a system work together to achieve some objective. For example, a bicycle has the functional property of being a transportation device once it has been assembled from its components. Non-functional emergent properties Examples are reliability, performance, safety, and security. These relate to the behaviour of the system in its operational environment. They are often critical for computer-based systems as failure to achieve some minimal defined level in these properties may make the system unusable.

9 System reliability engineering
Because of component inter-dependencies, faults can be propagated through the system System failures often occur because of unforeseen inter-relationships between components It is probably impossible to anticipate all possible component relationships Software reliability measures may give a false picture of the system reliability

10 Influences on reliability
Hardware reliability What is the probability of a hardware component failing and how long does it take to repair that component? Software reliability How likely is it that a software component will produce an incorrect output. Software failure is usually distinct from hardware failure in that software does not wear out. Operator reliability How likely is it that the operator of a system will make an error?

11 Reliability relationships
Hardware failure can generate spurious signals that are outside the range of inputs expected by the software Software errors can cause alarms to be activated which cause operator stress and lead to operator errors The environment in which a system is installed can affect its reliability

12 The ‘shall-not’ properties
Properties such as performance and reliability can be measured However, some properties are properties that the system should not exhibit Safety - the system should not behave in an unsafe way Security - the system should not permit unauthorised use Measuring or assessing these properties is very hard

13 Systems and their environment
Systems are not independent but exist in an environment System’s function may be to change its environment Environment affects the functioning of the system e.g. system may require electrical supply from its environment The organizational as well as the physical environment may be important

14 System hierarchies

15 Human and organisational factors
Process changes Does the system require changes to the work processes in the environment? Job changes Does the system de-skill the users in an environment or cause them to change the way they work? Organisational changes Does the system change the political power structure in an organisation?

16 System architecture modelling
An architectural model presents an abstract view of the sub-systems making up a system May include major information flows between sub-systems Usually presented as a block diagram May identify different types of functional component in the model

17 Intruder alarm system

18 Functional system components
Sensor components Actuator components Computation components Communication components Co-ordination components Interface components

19 System components Sensor components Actuator components
Collect information from the system’s environment e.g. radars in an air traffic control system Actuator components Cause some change in the system’s environment e.g. valves in a process control system which increase or decrease material flow in a pipe Computation components Carry out some computations on an input to produce an output e.g. a floating point processor in a computer system

20 System components Communication components Co-ordination components
Allow system components to communicate with each other e.g. network linking distributed computers Co-ordination components Co-ordinate the interactions of other system components e.g. scheduler in a real-time system Interface components Facilitate the interactions of other system components e.g. operator interface All components are now usually software controlled

21 The system engineering process
Usually follows a ‘waterfall’ model because of the need for parallel development of different parts of the system Little scope for iteration between phases because hardware changes are very expensive. Software may have to compensate for hardware problems Inevitably involves engineers from different disciplines who must work together Much scope for misunderstanding here. Different disciplines use a different vocabulary and much negotiation is required. Engineers may have personal agendas to fulfil

22 The system engineering process

23 System requirements definition
Three types of requirement defined at this stage Abstract functional requirements. System functions are defined in an abstract way System properties. Non-functional requirements for the system in general are defined Undesirable characteristics. Unacceptable system behaviour is specified Should also define overall organisational objectives for the system

24 System objectives Functional objectives Organisational objectives
To provide a fire and intruder alarm system for the building which will provide internal and external warning of fire or unauthorized intrusion Organisational objectives To ensure that the normal functioning of work carried out in the building is not seriously disrupted by events such as fire and unauthorized intrusion

25 System requirements problems
Changing as the system is being specified Must anticipate hardware/communications developments over the lifetime of the system Hard to define non-functional requirements (particularly) without an impression of component structure of the system.

26 The system design process
Partition requirements Organise requirements into related groups Identify sub-systems Identify a set of sub-systems which collectively can meet the system requirements Assign requirements to sub-systems Causes particular problems when COTS are integrated Specify sub-system functionality Define sub-system interfaces Critical activity for parallel sub-system development

27 The system design process

28 System design problems
Requirements partitioning to hardware, software and human components may involve a lot of negotiation Difficult design problems are often assumed to be readily solved using software Hardware platforms may be inappropriate for software requirements so software must compensate for this

29 Sub-system development
Typically parallel projects developing the hardware, software and communications May involve some COTS (Commercial Off-the-Shelf) systems procurement Lack of communication across implementation teams Bureaucratic and slow mechanism for proposing system changes means that the development schedule may be extended because of the need for rework

30 System integration The process of putting hardware, software and people together to make a system Should be tackled incrementally so that sub-systems are integrated one at a time Interface problems between sub-systems are usually found at this stage May be problems with uncoordinated deliveries of system components

31 System installation Environmental assumptions may be incorrect
May be human resistance to the introduction of a new system System may have to coexist with alternative systems for some time May be physical installation problems (e.g. cabling problems) Operator training has to be identified

32 System operation Will bring unforeseen requirements to light
Users may use the system in a way which is not anticipated by system designers May reveal problems in the interaction with other systems Physical problems of incompatibility Data conversion problems Increased operator error rate because of inconsistent interfaces

33 System evolution Large systems have a long lifetime. They must evolve to meet changing requirements Evolution is inherently costly Changes must be analysed from a technical and business perspective Sub-systems interact so unanticipated problems can arise There is rarely a rationale for original design decisions System structure is corrupted as changes are made to it Existing systems which must be maintained are sometimes called legacy systems

34 System decommissioning
Taking the system out of service after its useful lifetime May require removal of materials (e.g. dangerous chemicals) which pollute the environment Should be planned for in the system design by encapsulation May require data to be restructured and converted to be used in some other system

35 System procurement Acquiring a system for an organization to meet some need Some system specification and architectural design is usually necessary before procurement You need a specification to let a contract for system development The specification may allow you to buy a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) system. Almost always cheaper than developing a system from scratch

36 The system procurement process

37 Procurement issues Requirements may have to be modified to match the capabilities of off-the-shelf components The requirements specification may be part of the contract for the development of the system There is usually a contract negotiation period to agree changes after the contractor to build a system has been selected

38 Contractors and sub-contractors
The procurement of large hardware/software systems is usually based around some principal contractor Sub-contracts are issued to other suppliers to supply parts of the system Customer liases with the principal contractor and does not deal directly with sub-contractors

39 Contractor/Sub-contractor model

40 Key points System engineering involves input from a range of disciplines Emergent properties are properties that are characteristic of the system as a whole and not its component parts System architectural models show major sub-systems and inter-connections. They are usually described using block diagrams

41 Key points System component types are sensor, actuator, computation, co-ordination, communication and interface The systems engineering process is usually a waterfall model and includes specification, design, development and integration. System procurement is concerned with deciding which system to buy and who to buy it from

42 Conclusion Systems engineering is hard! There will never be an easy answer to the problems of complex system development Software engineers do not have all the answers but may be better at taking a systems viewpoint Disciplines need to recognise each others strengths and actively rather than reluctantly cooperate in the systems engineering process

43 Chapter 3 Software Processes

44 Software Processes Coherent sets of activities for specifying, designing, implementing and testing software systems

45 Topics covered Software process models Process iteration
Software specification Software design and implementation Software validation Software evolution Automated process support

46 The software process A structured set of activities required to develop a software system Specification Design Validation Evolution A software process model is an abstract representation of a process. It presents a description of a process from some particular perspective

47 Generic software process models
The waterfall model Separate and distinct phases of specification and development Evolutionary development Specification and development are interleaved Formal systems development A mathematical system model is formally transformed to an implementation Reuse-based development The system is assembled from existing components

48 Waterfall model

49 Waterfall model phases
Requirements analysis and definition System and software design Implementation and unit testing Integration and system testing Operation and maintenance The drawback of the waterfall model is the difficulty of accommodating change after the process is underway

50 Waterfall model problems
Inflexible partitioning of the project into distinct stages This makes it difficult to respond to changing customer requirements Therefore, this model is only appropriate when the requirements are well-understood

51 Evolutionary development
Exploratory development Objective is to work with customers and to evolve a final system from an initial outline specification. Should start with well-understood requirements Throw-away prototyping Objective is to understand the system requirements. Should start with poorly understood requirements

52 Evolutionary development

53 Evolutionary development
Problems Lack of process visibility Systems are often poorly structured Special skills (e.g. in languages for rapid prototyping) may be required Applicability For small or medium-size interactive systems For parts of large systems (e.g. the user interface) For short-lifetime systems

54 Formal systems development
Based on the transformation of a mathematical specification through different representations to an executable program Transformations are ‘correctness-preserving’ so it is straightforward to show that the program conforms to its specification Embodied in the ‘Cleanroom’ approach to software development

55 Formal systems development

56 Formal transformations

57 Formal systems development
Problems Need for specialised skills and training to apply the technique Difficult to formally specify some aspects of the system such as the user interface Applicability Critical systems especially those where a safety or security case must be made before the system is put into operation

58 Reuse-oriented development
Based on systematic reuse where systems are integrated from existing components or COTS (Commercial-off-the-shelf) systems Process stages Component analysis Requirements modification System design with reuse Development and integration This approach is becoming more important but still limited experience with it

59 Reuse-oriented development

60 Process iteration System requirements ALWAYS evolve in the course of a project so process iteration where earlier stages are reworked is always part of the process for large systems Iteration can be applied to any of the generic process models Two (related) approaches Incremental development Spiral development

61 Incremental development
Rather than deliver the system as a single delivery, the development and delivery is broken down into increments with each increment delivering part of the required functionality User requirements are prioritised and the highest priority requirements are included in early increments Once the development of an increment is started, the requirements are frozen though requirements for later increments can continue to evolve

62 Incremental development

63 Incremental development advantages
Customer value can be delivered with each increment so system functionality is available earlier Early increments act as a prototype to help elicit requirements for later increments Lower risk of overall project failure The highest priority system services tend to receive the most testing

64 Extreme programming New approach to development based on the development and delivery of very small increments of functionality Relies on constant code improvement, user involvement in the development team and pairwise programming

65 Spiral development Process is represented as a spiral rather than as a sequence of activities with backtracking Each loop in the spiral represents a phase in the process. No fixed phases such as specification or design - loops in the spiral are chosen depending on what is required Risks are explicitly assessed and resolved throughout the process

66 Spiral model of the software process

67 Spiral model sectors Objective setting Risk assessment and reduction
Specific objectives for the phase are identified Risk assessment and reduction Risks are assessed and activities put in place to reduce the key risks Development and validation A development model for the system is chosen which can be any of the generic models Planning The project is reviewed and the next phase of the spiral is planned

68 Software specification
The process of establishing what services are required and the constraints on the system’s operation and development Requirements engineering process Feasibility study Requirements elicitation and analysis Requirements specification Requirements validation

69 The requirements engineering process

70 Software design and implementation
The process of converting the system specification into an executable system Software design Design a software structure that realises the specification Implementation Translate this structure into an executable program The activities of design and implementation are closely related and may be inter-leaved

71 Design process activities
Architectural design Abstract specification Interface design Component design Data structure design Algorithm design

72 The software design process

73 Design methods Systematic approaches to developing a software design
The design is usually documented as a set of graphical models Possible models Data-flow model Entity-relation-attribute model Structural model Object models

74 Programming and debugging
Translating a design into a program and removing errors from that program Programming is a personal activity - there is no generic programming process Programmers carry out some program testing to discover faults in the program and remove these faults in the debugging process

75 The debugging process

76 Software validation Verification and validation is intended to show that a system conforms to its specification and meets the requirements of the system customer Involves checking and review processes and system testing System testing involves executing the system with test cases that are derived from the specification of the real data to be processed by the system

77 The testing process

78 Testing stages Unit testing Module testing Sub-system testing
Individual components are tested Module testing Related collections of dependent components are tested Sub-system testing Modules are integrated into sub-systems and tested. The focus here should be on interface testing System testing Testing of the system as a whole. Testing of emergent properties Acceptance testing Testing with customer data to check that it is acceptable

79 Testing phases

80 Software evolution Software is inherently flexible and can change.
As requirements change through changing business circumstances, the software that supports the business must also evolve and change Although there has been a demarcation between development and evolution (maintenance) this is increasingly irrelevant as fewer and fewer systems are completely new

81 System evolution

82 Automated process support (CASE)
Computer-aided software engineering (CASE) is software to support software development and evolution processes Activity automation Graphical editors for system model development Data dictionary to manage design entities Graphical UI builder for user interface construction Debuggers to support program fault finding Automated translators to generate new versions of a program

83 Case technology Case technology has led to significant improvements in the software process though not the order of magnitude improvements that were once predicted Software engineering requires creative thought - this is not readily automatable Software engineering is a team activity and, for large projects, much time is spent in team interactions. CASE technology does not really support these

84 CASE classification Classification helps us understand the different types of CASE tools and their support for process activities Functional perspective Tools are classified according to their specific function Process perspective Tools are classified according to process activities that are supported Integration perspective Tools are classified according to their organisation into integrated units

85 Tools, workbenches, environments

86 Key points Software processes are the activities involved in producing and evolving a software system. They are represented in a software process model General activities are specification, design and implementation, validation and evolution Generic process models describe the organisation of software processes Iterative process models describe the software process as a cycle of activities

87 Key points Requirements engineering is the process of developing a software specification Design and implementation processes transform the specification to an executable program Validation involves checking that the system meets to its specification and user needs Evolution is concerned with modifying the system after it is in use CASE technology supports software process activities

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