- Published on 06 Jul 2016
- Project News
The CRYSTAL final dissemination event
The CRYSTAL final dissemination event was organised at the Carlos III University in Madrid on 15-16 June 2016. A vivid mini-exhibition was organised including 9 booths with demos and posters. During the poster session, work cases were shown, such as the Public Aero use case, which highlights requirements and model-based system engineering, Heterogeneous Simulation, change management, collaboration and exploitation of cross-discipline linked data using IOS and much more! Philips was present as well, with a demo about the implementation in the healthcare domain. Via a spectacular augmented reality glass you can see, walk and work in a hospital room. Other attendees at the poster area were Airbus, Thales, AVL, TNO and RGB.
The event kicked off with an introduction of the university and an introduction about CRYSTAL. The professionalism of this event shows that CRYSTAL is aware of the need to communicate the achieved results to a broader audience. Via this event, CRYSTAL showcased what is done with the invested money, shared knowledge with the industry and connected with other projects to pass information and contribute in reducing system development costs due to the Smart Integration of Tools.
After the introduction, the event continued with an interesting Keynote speech: ‘From an analyst’s point of view’ by Gary Barnett. You can follow him on twitter via @thinkovation
Why is interoperability so important according to Barnett? Programming tools used to be simple, but the world has changed, nowadays 20 million lines of code are needed. Another important factor is the increased speed of development. You need to keep up, to stay ahead of competitors.
Challenges Gary Barnett addressed are:
- Broaden the scope
- How do we introduce non-traditional embedded S/W developers?
- How do explain to our boss the time taking for developing?
In the second challenge, Gary points out that ‘kids with ponytails and t-shirts’ need to become more interested in S/W development. Kids need to know why the work we do is better than hacking current codes.
At the third point, Gary Barnett wants to make software engineers aware that communication is essence when talking to your boss, but more importantly to public authorities and politicians. By communicating and managing expectations, software engineers can save lots of pain and strive in the development process.
By addressing interoperability, CRYSTAL will help to make safety critical software and systems that are of higher quality, lower development costs and delivered more quickly. Start cooperating and create standards all together, ‘Don’t build walls but build bridges’.
After the Keynote speech, Christian el Salloum continued by presenting the highlights of the project
Today’s situation at industrial companies is often fragmentation in IT, high maintenance costs, high manual effort to handle data and this has impact on quality and safety. In most companies there probably is a tool-integration problem in which point-to-point Integration does not scale and creating new integrations is often unpredictable. The CRYSTAL vision is that systems need to work together, whoever created them. CRYSTAL created an open integration platform, so it allows creating a new concept and workflow.
Openness as the key
The processes of developing, deploying, governing, operating and maintaining modern safety-critical embedded systems is highly complex and requires specialized tools supporting different activities throughout the entire product life cycle. Therefore, OEMs and suppliers are typically operating a large set of tools from different vendors, often complemented by custom in-house solutions. The overall process can be effective and efficient only if it supports collaboration among all stakeholders and consequently interoperability between the tools they are using. Considering the ongoing outsourcing and globalization activities, interoperability and openness is getting even more crucial. In addition, the demand for supporting a large number of product variants further increases the complexity to be handled.
Today, tool integration is often done in an ad-hoc manner by creating proprietary bridges between each pair of tools. Such an approach does not scale, since the number of required bridges grows exponentially with the number of employed tools. Moreover, the resulting tool chain becomes extremely vulnerable to common changes like version upgrades from tool vendors, and the efforts for maintaining a large set of bridges is sooner or later no more acceptable. The main technical challenge in addressing this problem is the provision of open and common interoperability technologies supported by the different tools that generate and provide access to data covering the entire product lifecycle.
CRYSTAL establishes standards
The project CRYSTAL (CRitical sYSTem engineering AcceLeration) has identified this need and takes up the challenge to establish and push forward an Interoperability Specification (IOS) as an open European standard for the development of safety-critical embedded systems in the automotive, aerospace, rail and health care domain. This standard will allow loosely coupled tools to share and interlink their data based on standardized and open Web technologies that enable common interoperability among various life cycle domains. This reduces the complexity of the entire integration process significantly.
CRYSTAL is strongly industry-oriented and will provide ready-to-use integrated tool chains having a mature technology-readiness-level (up to TRL 7). In order to reach this goal, CRYSTAL is driven by real-world industrial use cases from the automotive, aerospace, rail and health sector and builds on the results of successful predecessor projects like CESAR, SAFE, iFEST, MBAT on European and national level.
Concrete Results of CRYSTAL
The results produced by CRYSTAL include the following:
- CRYSTAL Interoperability Specification (IOS): The CRYSTAL IOS specification is an open specification that enables the seamless integration of engineering tools and the full traceability across the entire product life cycle
- IOS – Compliant Implementations: Based on the IOS the consortium developed
- extensions and adaptors for their engineering tools,
- SDKs to support the adaptor development process,
- and a Platform Builder to support the specification and instantiation of System Engineering Environments
- Use Case & Demonstrators: Use cases in all targeted domains are available and provide answers to the project challenges. Furthermore, the use cases serve as a blueprint to solve related interoperability challenges. In order to foster wide exploitation, CRYSTAL produced also a set of Public Use Cases which are available to organizations that are external to the project.
- Technical publications: An impressive number of technical publications has been published and are available on the homepage.
- Community building: CRYSTAL brought together experts from industry (board members, CTOs, marketing directors, technical experts) and successfully promoted the technology.
- Raise the level of awareness: CRYSTAL initiated and contributed to several dissemination actions in order to raise the level of awareness and to get the involvement of the relevant stakeholders. In particular, CRYSTAL was involved in the series of events called Interoperability Conferences which are organized together with other organizations (e.g., CP-SETIS, OASIS, ProSTEP iViP, EIT Digital, ARTEMIS …).
- Standardization: With the contributions of CRYSTAL, it was already possible to achieve tangible standardization results.
- Sustainability model: A sustainability model for the IOS has been devised to foster the industrial uptake after the project end.
- Creation of ecosystems: CRYSTAL actively supported the creation of eco-systems that creates and govern open standards (e.g. OSLC, FMI, ASAM …) based on the developed specifications.
- Collaboration with CP-Setis: to coordinate IOS-related activities, especially the formal standardization including General Engineering Methods and further extensions of the IOS.
Market relevance of the results and societal impact
The aims of CRYSTAL are ambitious and the expected results will have significant economical and societal impacts.
OEMs will benefit from better supplier collaboration and reduced system design costs due to the improved and the smart integration of system analysis, safety analysis, and system exploration tools.
In addition, the CRYSTAL IOS will increase the flexibility for all stakeholders in the value chain and has the potential to deeply impact the market on a global level. OEMs can easily combine tools from different vendors, and tool vendors will be able to find new market opportunities in an open and extensible environment.
The benefits for the average citizen will be more innovative products and services with a higher quality and availability at lower costs. In the near future, we can expect significant advances in all the targeted domains. Examples are all kinds of innovative healthcare products, autonomous driving and increased safety in all transportation domains including light and heavy duty vehicles, aerospace and the rail sector.
In short, CRYSTAL ensured Europe’s leading edge position in the development of safety-critical Cyber-Physical systems.
Furthermore, technical speed talks were organised by several partners in CRYSTAL. For example, TNO held a short presentation about ‘Continuous Safety Validation’ and REUSE presented ‘Requirements for Based Engineering’.
The second day kicked off with a presentation about ARTEMIS-IA by Michael Paulweber. For the people in the audience who were not familiar with ARTEMIS-IA, Paulweber started with a short introduction about ARTEMIS-IA and continued with an in-depth presentation about the SRA 2016.
Paulweber told the audience that ARTEMIS Industry Association aims to consolidate the pathway for the digital revolution, enabling a more agile and shorter development cycle of Embedded Intelligent Systems through the adoption of design by composition and correct-by-construction principles. Another important step Paulweber highlighted, is to overcome fragmentation in the European supply base for design and engineering components and tools. In the coming years, the Industry Association will focus on providing strong technological capability over the whole value chain, thus removing barriers between application contexts to yield multi-domain, reusable components and Embedded Intelligent systems, and extend the use of digital platforms to build the stronger eco-systems that are needed to accelerate innovation and create new business models.
During Michael Paulwebers’ speech, he referred to Commissioner Oettinger’s speech at the Hannover Messe in 2015: ‘The digital evolution, or digitisation, is a silent revolution that is transforming our way of living and of doing business. It is a tremendous opportunity for European stakeholders active in many sectors to benefit from this transformation as users and as suppliers. Indeed “Europe’s Future is digital”.’
The second part of the morning focussed on use cases. The first one was presented by Andrea Leitner of Virtual Vehicle, about the automotive industrial use case including the best practices and the engineering methods including Semi-Formalisation of requirements, Heterogeneous simulation, change management and validate design against requirements.
In short, Virtual Vehicle thinks we are a significant step closer to an integrated tool chain to support Model Based Systems Engineering and that there is a profound understanding of interoperability needs. Furthermore, they gained expertise with respect to technological solutions, standards and tools.
This presentation was followed up by a use case of Paul Tielemans from Philips. This presentation was all about accelerate development of medical x-ray systems. Questions Paul Tielemans wanted to answer are; ‘What actually landed of the CRYSTAL project?’ And ‘How can we accelerate?’ Everyone tries to get a product first in the market, so focus on finding your bugs in an early stage to get early feedback on the requirements. What is the language that we talk about? Use simple language in safety requirements, to find the cause, prevent harm, so find the hazard and create harm reduction. Within Philips, this early detection and language is implemented in company processes. DSL: Domain Specific Language is used to simplify design language and to generate code. Furthermore, Philips created use videos to explain end-users how to use the medical devices.
Prof. Dr. Juan Llorens presented The REUSE Company and titled his talk “A Sky full of Stars”, from the song Stars shining bright above you by Ella Fitzgerald. The presentation summarizes: “Along the duration of the CRYSTAL project, many issues of all kinds have transformed our organisations. Technical challenges, human aspects, commercial restrictions, financial constraints, whatever could happen, occurred, and probably at the worst moment. This talk presented how The REUSE Company, an SME organisation, has coped with the CRYSTAL challenges and how the CRYSTAL project has improved and strengthened the company.”