Egemin Software Product Lines for Logistic Systems (E'SPLS)

The general goal of the ESPLS project is to develop an innovative Dynamic Software Product Line (DSPL) approach for building logistic systems at Egemin N.V.

Egemin N.V. is a leading company in the development, installation and maintenance of logistics systems. Logistic systems automate the execution of transports of materials within industrial warehouse environments. Logistic systems use automated guided vehicles, cranes and/or conveyor belts to automate warehouse transportation.

The current market puts severe pressure on software development for logistic systems:

  1. The high demand for client-specific customizations leads to quick erosion of the software. This is detrimental to the reusability and longevity of the software.
  2. As the warehouse environments in which logistic systems operate typically evolve over time, there is an increasing demand for software that is capable of dynamically adapting to changing operating conditions.

The ESPLS project envisions a DSPL approach that supports both static and dynamic variability in logistic systems. To produce a logistic system for a particular customer, the DSPL approach will employ a shared software architecture, called DSPL architecture, endowed with explicit variation points that prevent erosion by clearly delineating how the software can be customized both statically and dynamically. More specifically, the main focus of the project is:

  1. To provide an ADL (architecture description language) for DSPL architectures with explicit support for capturing both static and dynamic variability.
  2. To develop techniques to document and trace variability from requirements, over architecture, to implementation.
  3. To develop a method to evaluate DSPL architectures, and to determine the return on investment to adopt a DSPL approach.

The innovative approach will be evaluated by a proof-of-concept product line for the part of the logistic systems that concerns the control of automated guided vehicles. This pilot project should enable Egemin to evaluate the added value of a DSPL approach as well as possible risks, providing a basis to decide on the further development of a software product line approach in the company.

 

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