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Scalable Hybrid Variability for Distributed Evolving Software Systems

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - HyVar (Scalable Hybrid Variability for Distributed Evolving Software Systems)

Reporting period: 2015-02-01 to 2016-07-31

HyVar proposes a development framework for continuous and individualized evolution of distributed software applications running on remote devices in heterogeneous environments.
The framework will combine variability modeling from software product lines with formal methods and software upgrades, and be integrated in existing software development processes.
HyVar's overall objectives are:
(O1) to develop a Domain Specific Variability Language (DSVL) and tool chain to support software variability for such applications;
(O2) to develop a cloud infrastructure that exploits software variability as described in the DSVL to track the software configurations deployed on remote devices and to enable (i) the collection of data from the devices to monitor their behavior; and (ii) secure and efficient customized updates;
(O3) to develop a technology for over-the-air updates of distributed applications which enables continuous software evolution after deployment on complex remote devices that incorporate a system of systems;
and (O4) to test HyVar's approach as described in the above objectives in an industry-led demonstrator to assess in quantifiable ways its benefits.
During the reporting period (M1-M18) in particular we focused on:
• Identification of requirements, development of semantic and syntax for the Domain Specific Variability Language (DSVL) and initial definition of variability mining methodology.
• Definition of engineering methodology and process guidelines to apply the DSVL in industrial practice, and study of formal verification techniques to incrementally validate the variability model.
• Study and implementation of an algorithm that enables scalable hybrid feature reconfiguration for highly customized remote devices. Initial investigation on auto-scaling mechanisms.
• Initiate the design and development of DSVL tool chain, cloud infrastructure and over-the-air ECU updating technology.
• Identification of suitable use cases and development of demonstrator model.
• Set-up of the external project web site, preparation of Poster and promotional material and participation to events targeting scientific community and broader public to promote project results.
• Establishment of a collaborative working environment and procedures to make easier and efficient the cooperation between partners. Costant monitoring of the progress on technical activities and of the costs.
HyVar goes beyond the state-of-the-art by proposing hybrid variability; i.e. the automatic generation and deployment of software updates combines the variability model describing possible software configurations with sensor data collected from the device.
HyVar progressed in implementing the methodology into a tool chain distributed in a cloud infrastructure, and realizing a demonstration on a real-world scenario of connected cars, challenging the tool onto a secure, reliable and efficient adaptation of software toward highly distributed onboard systems.
The results can be then applied immediately to other sectors such as home automation, environmental control, surveillance camera, remote healthcare devices and many more. Enterprises will benefit from the HyVar architecture by improving and accelerating their development processes, leading to a significant decrease of time to implement software changes to distributed and complex software systems
HyVar is expected to have a significant potential impact supporting the customization, change management and maintenance of distributed software over heterogeneous networks of smart objects and cloud-based applications. As wider societal implications HyVar will contribute to increasing European engineering and system manufacturing competitiveness by enabling higher flexibility and increased product quality.
HyVar Architecture