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SDL software quality validation for embedded systems: Methodology document

The SDL-SAFE project originates from the pressing requirement to test, measure and validate the quality and conformance of SDL generated code for critical communications and control systems. The project has reviewed this requirement in the context of the capabilities of Small and Medium sized Enterprises and seeked to provide a reliable and cost-effective solution.

The objective of the Methodology document is to describe the methodology that leads to the automatic quality assessment of a software project implemented in SDL. A good practice is to follow a straightforward step-by-step approach. The steps of the methodology that will be followed are described here under.

Initially, the style objectives for the proper use of SDL in SDL System implementations must be recommended. Thus, the style objectives will determine the way that an implementation should be developed in general. The second step is the definition of specific SDL language rules. This step is referenced to the style objectives, but it gives a more specific and strict image of how an SDL implementation should be developed in order to achieve high level of quality.

The next step is the establishment of a quality assessment model, which will allow the quality assessment of an SDL implementation. J. A. McCall, P. K. Richards and G. F. Walters have developed a model especially for computer languages and notations. This model can also be applied on the quality assessment of an SDL system. The model consists of a number of factors and criteria. The fourth step to the quality assessment process is the extraction of metrics (measurement obtained without executing the SDL system). An automatic quality assessment process can be defined only based on numbers.

The final step is the definition and explanation of the automatic quality assessment process. The process is based on the extracted metrics.

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