June 14, 2014
June 14, 2014
June 14, 2014
Curriculum and Lab Development
20.41.1 - 20.41.11
Utilization of Eclipse-based Software Tools in Teaching a New Software Development Methodology to EngineersSoftware development is often considered to be difficult for engineering students. Nowadays,many control and automation embedded systems are facing increasingly sophisticated functionaland non-functional demands. In such systems, software portion is always expected to have thegreater impact. Therefore, educators continue to face great challenges in getting students to becapable of conducting efficient software development. With the goal of equipping engineeringstudents with the knowledge of using real-world software tools and cost-efficient softwaredevelopment methods, we introduced advanced model-based design (MBD) methodology andeclipse-based software tools into a Programming Tools course.In the last decade, eclipse-based tools and MBD methodology have been widely applied todeveloping dependable embedded software systems in various embedded applications such asautomobile and automation. Eclipse is an integrated software development environment fromIBM, which comprises a base workspace and an extensible plug-in system for customizing theenvironment. Eclipse owns several important benefits for computer programming. First, bymeans of various plugins, Eclipse provides the multi-language programming, such as Java,C/C++. Second, Eclipse is cross-platform, which supports Windows, Linux and Mac OS as well.Thus, it is preferable for developing Linux-based embedded systems. Third, Eclipse is freeunder the term of the Eclipse Public License. Most Eclipse-based software tools are also free forthe education purpose. In recent years, Eclipse-based development tools have been employed bymore and more software projects in both academy and industry. These tools have becomeavailable for a wide range of the embedded systems development problems, such asmicrocontroller programming, systems modeling for embedded model-based design, real-timecomputing platform, and FPGA based embedded system development.Many Eclipse-based software tools support MBD, which is an emerging developmentmethodology for complex embedded software. Several European Union supported projectsrelated to MBD have been launched or completed, such as MOGENT (Model-based Generationof Tests for Dependable Embedded Systems), CESEAR (Cost-efficient methods and processesfor safety relevant embedded systems). As far as our best knowledge, there are few universitiesin America that offer engineering students the knowledge of MBD. The novelty of our work isto introduce students the MBD process in combination with eclipse-based tools. We focus ontwo unique features in MBD - automated code generation and model-based verification andvalidation. Our primary experiences show that this combination could help students understandadvanced software development technologies in practice, and improve the efficiency ofdesigning and implementing complex embedded software projects.
He, N., & Huang, H. (2014, June), Utilization of Eclipse-based Software Tools in Teaching a New Software Development Methodology to Engineers Paper presented at 2014 ASEE International Forum, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/17204
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