CPS Engineering and the INTO-CPS Tool Chain

Cyber-Physical Systems (CPSs) which closely integrate computing and physical elements have enormous potential to catalyse businesses and improve the quality of life, but they present significant engineering challenges. They are characterised by a complex architecture and a design process that necessitates the involvement of diverse technical disciplines, formalisms and even cultures. The CPS engineer faces a large design space that is prohibitively expensive to explore with physical prototypes, while the need for dependability of the CPS as a whole means that there is a need for well-founded validation and verification techniques.

The vision of the INTO-CPS consortium is that CPS engineers should be able to deploy a wide range of tools to support model-based design and analysis, rather than relying on a single “factotum”. The project has developed an integrated “tool chain” that supports multidisciplinary, collaborative modelling of CPSs from requirements, through design, to realisation in hardware and software, enabling traceability through the development. We will integrate existing industry-strength baseline tools in their application domains, based centrally around Functional Mockup Interface (FMI) - compatible co-simulation. The project focuses on the pragmatic integration of these tools, making extensions in areas where a need has been recognised.

The tool chain is underpinned by well-founded semantic foundations that ensures the results of analysis can be trusted. The tool chain is intended to provide powerful analysis techniques for CPS models, including generation and static checking of FMI interfaces; model checking; Hardware-in-the-Loop (HiL) and Software-in-the-Loop (SiL) simulation, supported by code generation. It will allow for both Test Automation and Design Space Exploration of CPSs. The INTO-CPS technologies will be accompanied by method guidelines, lowering entry barriers for CPS development.