Researchers receive $16.6 million to boost automotive software quality

Three Queen’s researchers and collaborators at seven other Canadian universities have received $16.6 million over five years for research supporting automobile software systems.

"Queen’s has one of the strongest software engineering research groups in the country, and we're delighted to be a part of this national initiative in automotive software systems,” says researcher James Cordy, (School of Computing). “Modern fuel-efficient vehicles like GM’s Chevrolet Volt depend on hundreds of millions of lines of onboard computer programs to control every aspect of their operation. We look forward to working with our colleagues at General Motors and IBM on increasing the safety, reliability and efficiency of these complex software systems.”

Dr. Cordy and Dr. Thomas Dean (Electrical and Computer Engineering) are working toward a better understanding of the common patterns and structures of model use in automotive systems, leading to more disciplined synthesis, analysis and deployment of automotive software.

Dr. Juergen Dingel is working on analyzing and relating automotive software models at the industrial scale, leading to more effective analysis of complex interactions between subsystems that can lead to safety, reliability and usability issues.

The research is part of the Network on Engineering Complex Software Intensive Systems for Automotive Systems (NECSIS), which focuses on a new computer software methodology called model-driven engineering (MDE), which promises dramatic improvements in automotive software developer productivity and product quality.

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) funded the research as part of the government's Automotive Partnership Canada (APC) initiative.