Category Archives: Papers

Rule-based Code Generation in Industrial Automation

A new paper (download preprint) was accepted for the 42nd International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) – at the “Software Engineering in Practice” track (SEIP) to be held in May 2020 in Seoul, South Korea. Summary: “Software development for industrial automation applications is a growing market with high economic impact. Control engineers design and implement software for such systems using standardized programming languages (IEC 61131-3) and still require substantial manual work. We have executed four case studies on large industrial plants with thousands of sensors and actuators for a rule-based control logic generation approach called CAYENNE to determine its practicability. We found that we can generate more than 70 percent of the required interlocking control logic with code generation rules that are applicable across different plants.”

Automated Industrial IoT-Device Integration using the OpenPnP Reference Architecture

We published a new journal article in Wiley’s “Software Practice and Experience“. A preprint PDF is available. Here’s the summary: “The vision of plug-and-produce control systems has been pursued for more than 15 years, but existing approaches fell short regarding configuration tasks and vendor-neutrality. This paper introduces the standards-based IoT reference architecture “OpenPnP”, which allows largely automating the configuration and integration tasks of industrial commissioning processes. This paper demonstrates how OpenPnP can reduce configuration and integration efforts up to 90 percent in typical settings, while potentially scaling well up to tens of thousands of communicated signals.”

Plug&Produce Paper Released by Plattform Industrie 4.0


The Plattform Industrie 4.0 has released a new paper on a standards-based Plug&Produce approach for industrial devices, which was mostly written by me. The paper is a contribution to the current working groups on Industrie 4.0 and focuses on a specific application scenario, where devices connect to each other with limited human interaction. Its purpose is to point to existing standards and reveal standardization gaps. Although a good fundament of standards exists, there is still the need to create more semantically standardized information models to realized this application scenario in a vendor-neutral way.

New Book: Modeling and Simulating Software Architectures: The Palladio Approach


After many years in the making, the Palladio book was finally published by MIT Press. I wrote two chapters in the book. The text details the key concepts of Palladio’s domain-specific modeling language for software architecture quality and presents the corresponding development stage. It describes how quality information can be used to calibrate architecture models from which detailed simulation models are automatically derived for quality predictions. It will also be an essential resource for software architects and software engineers and for practitioners who want to apply Palladio in industrial settings. You can also order from Amazon.

EMSE Paper Accepted

EMSE 2015
We got a paper accepted at the Springer Journal on Empirical Software Engineering: “Corporate organizations sometimes o ffer similar software products in certain domains due to former company mergers or due to the complexity of the organization. The functional overlap of such products is an opportunity for future systematic reuse to reduce software development and maintenance costs. We report on our experiences and lessons learned from conducting the domain analysis in four application cases with large-scale software products. We learned that the outcome of a domain analysis was often a smaller integration scenario instead of an SPL and that business case calculations were less relevant for the stakeholders and managers from the business units.”

Industry Best Paper Award at SPLC 2014

Happy to report that our paper entitled “Customizing Domain Analysis for assessing the Reuse Potential of Industrial Software Systems” received the Best Paper Award of the Industry Track of SPLC 2014, the 18th International Software Product Line Conference in Florence, Italy. We have applied domain analysis on a number of device engineering tools and enterprise information systems from ABB and have reported several lessons learned.
SPLC 2014 Best Paper Award

IEEE TSE Paper Accepted

We got a paper accepted at IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering: “During the last decade, researchers have proposed a number of model transformations enabling performance predictions. This paper provides an in-depth comparison and quantitative evaluation of representative model transformations to, e.g., Queueing Petri Nets and Layered Queueing Networks. The semantic gaps between typical source model  abstractions and the different analysis techniques are revealed. The accuracy and efficiency of each transformation are evaluated by considering four case studies representing systems of different size and complexity. The presented results and insights gained from the evaluation help software architects and performance engineers to select the appropriate transformation for a given context.”TSE 2015

Measuring Architecture Sustainability

The latest issue of the magazine “IEEE Software” features our article on architecture sustainability: “At ABB, we’re measuring and tracking the architecture sustainability of a large-scale, distributed industrial control system currently under development that’s based on Microsoft technologies and includes a layered architecture. A former version of the system grew to several million LOC and suffered from architecture erosion and high maintenance costs. We adopted a multiperspective approach called Morphosis to avoid such a situation from occurring again. Morphosis focuses on requirements, architecture design, and source code. It includes evolution scenario analysis, scoring of technology choices, architecture compliance checks, and tracking of architecture-level code metrics. This article reports our experiences with tracking selected sustainability measurements over the course of two years.”