30 Nov 2015 |
Research article |
Information and Communications Technologies
Training Kit Based on an Open Source Tool to Support the ISO / IEC 29110 Systems Engineering Standard and Guides
This article presents the training package developed to assist VSEs to implement the Requirements Engineering Deployment Package (DP) of the ISO / IEC standard 29110 for systems engineering. This tool will serve as a proving ground from which the other Systems Engineering DP will be developed under the “Systems Engineering for VSEs” INCOSE Working Group.
This article follows Open Source Tools to Support ISO / IEC 29110, which describes in more details the framework that led to this training tool.
At this stage, two of the three pieces of the equation are in place: the ISO/IEC 29110 systems engineering standard and guides and the Requirements Engineering Deployment Package provide the Process piece; an Open Source Framework, constructed around the Eclipse Requirements Management Framework, provides the Tool piece. We now need to bring People into the equation. A survey of enterprises done in (Land 1997) identified very specific needs they have in order to achieve an acceptance of standards. Those needs include:
- User training course
- Examples of deliverables
- Deliverable templates
- CASE tool support for documentation generation
- On-line or phone support
- Educators resource/support
An inexpensive, publicly licensed (i.e. allowing a VSE to tailor and adapt to its needs with as few constraints as possible) and easily deployable training package was therefore needed to allow VSEs to deploy an effective Systems Engineering life-cycle process. Such a Training Kit was developed by the Eclipse foundation, in collaboration with a team of practitioners from around the world.
Training Kit Development
Since requirements are the cornerstone of a requirement-centric development life-cycle, it should not come as a surprise that the RE DP was the first of the Systems Engineering DP selected for development. It will serve as the proving ground upon which the other Systems Engineering DPs will be developed under the “Systems Engineering for VSEs” INCOSE Working Group.
As a pilot project to use the DPs and tools, the RE DP Training Kit, has been constructed around Case Studies that can be extended to apply to all the Systems Engineering DPs and the entire life-cycle of a Systems Engineering effort (i.e. hardware, software, organizational processes, etc.). The Case Study used in the Training Kit is the Autonomous Rover.
The Autonomous Rover case was selected for a pilot project because it represents a typical System development problem (i.e. includes both hardware and software elements). Also, it is sufficiently simple that a complete solution can be developed during the training period and allows students to become proficient with the application of the System Requirements Engineering Process for a VSE, the artefact templates and the RE Tool.
The RE DP Training Material has for objective to satisfy Goal 1 of Step 0 of the Autonomous Rover project, which is to gather the first set of requirements. The set, of which a sample is shown in Table 1, consists of functional, non-functional, hardware and safety requirements to be implemented in three (3) phases of the Autonomous Rover development project. Whereas the RE DP focuses on the management and engineering of textual requirements, the Case Study is designed from its inception to be extendable to Model-Base techniques, methodologies and tools.
The Rover will be built with a low cost Polulu Dagu Rover 5 platform illustrated in Figure 1. The chassis includes a battery holder and two DC motors, with an independent drive train and a quadrature encoder for each tread. The outer dimensions of the chassis are approximately 24cm long, 23cm wide, and 8cm tall in its default, flattened configuration.
The training material has been collected in a GitHub project and is available under the Apache 2.0 License, which allows VSEs to use the material as is, or tailor it to meet their own needs. We also expect educators and trainers will use and improve the training material over time.
Conclusion and Future Work
An ISO working group has developed a set of standards and guides to address the needs of VSEs developing system or software. ISO has published in 2014 the ISO/IEC 29110 Systems Engineering Basic profile (ISO 2014) and the Systems Engineering Entry profile in 2015 (ISO 2015). The set of deployment packages, developed by the INCOSE VSE WG, to help implement the Basic profile, served as the basis to develop a publicly licensed Training Kit. The first of those Training Kits, covering the Requirements Engineering DP, teaches how an Eclipse Requirements Management Framework based tool can be used to implement the RE DP within a VSE. Being publicly licensed, the Training Kit can be adapted very easily to fulfill specific VSE needs.
Once the software engineering ISO/IEC 29110 Intermediate and Advanced profiles are ready, work will start on the two corresponding systems engineering profiles for VSEs. In parallel, a set of systems engineering Deployment Packages and corresponding Training Kits will be developed and deployed to support those profiles.
The following Web site provides more information, as well as articles by WG24 members and deployment packages for software and systems engineering:
Claude Y. Laporte was a Professor of software engineering at ÉTS before retiring. He is the Project Editor of the systems and software engineering ISO / IEC 29110 standards for Very Small Entities developing systems or software products.