Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering IESE
Fraunhofer IESE develops innovative methods and solutions for the development of high-quality, complex information systems and embedded systems. In order to offer an immediate added value, we apply our methods directly during your product development and/or transfer our methods and solutions to you. In research, we perform contract research for our customers and conduct research in public projects. We have focused and tailored our competencies to our customers’ challenges in the information systems and embedded systems domain. We address new upcoming systems of systems that combine information systems and embedded systems through our research focus on vertical integration / cyber-physical systems. As basic competencies for all system classes, we provide support in the field of process management.
Hidden in transportation systems, medical devices, consumer goods, and almost all other technical products, embedded systems are performing essential tasks that make our daily lives safer and more comfortable. Every year, more than three billion embedded components and devices are manufactured, incorporating 98% percent of all microprocessors built. Embedded systems are omnipresent, and our modern economy and society would be unable to survive without them.
The requirements on the reliability and functional safety of such systems are correspondingly high. Failures can rarely be tolerated – particularly when such failures might jeopardize people or the environment. At the same time, the complexity of these systems is increasing ever faster. Currently emerging technologies will further accelerate this growth of complexity in the near future. New technologies enable networks of functions based on integrated architectures. Autonomous systems will provide ever more intelligence. Embedded systems will be opened up to enable downloading of new “Embedded Apps” or connections to other systems. Ultimately, this trend will lead to cyber-physical systems: Various different embedded systems are connected with each other and with IT infrastructure systems, opening a new dimension of functionalities and market opportunities – but also a new dimension of complexity. Considering that most of these systems are safety-critical, the capability of a company to ensure and guarantee a system’s quality is a key factor for turning this promising technological innovation into real business success.
The division “Embedded Systems” therefore focuses on engineering safe and reliable embedded systems. Ensuring the safety of innovative products requires innovative safety concepts. The continuous advancement of our safety engineering approaches enables us to develop cost-efficient safety concepts and safety cases for our customers’ innovations. Using leading-edge model-based testing and quality assurance techniques enables us to validate and verify the quality of our customers’ products.
In order to establish the basis for high-quality systems, we support you in evaluating and defining your product’s system and software architectures, which have to optimize various functional and non-functional requirements. Since embedded systems are often developed as product families instead of single products, and since they usually evolve over their lifetime, we support you in establishing and improving efficient variation management.
In order to develop systems and services on time and in a cost-efficient way, the use of engineering-style processes is indispensable. Developing innovative software-intensive systems and services requires the application of new and innovative development techniques and methods that need to be integrated into the development process in order to make success repeatable and sustainable. We deal with the establishment of high-quality development processes, measuring their performance and effectiveness, and their continuous improvement. In this context, the empirical approach pursued by Fraunhofer IESE is particularly important. It provides measurable evidence of the added value of innovative development processes and enables their adaptation to rapidly changing markets and business environments. Our measurement and prediction competencies provide a comprehensive set of methods and tools for managing and improving processes based on measurement and quantitative approaches. Our empiricism competencies support you in defining and performing empirical studies for evaluating the impact of new techniques, methods, and tools. Our process compliance and improvement competencies enable you to set up, manage, and improve process models for developing software-intensive systems and services based upon common standards and best practices.
Modern information systems and interactive systems are becoming ever more complex. Hype topics such as service orientation or cloud computing as well as increasingly mature technologies including those in the area of mobile end devices further increase the complexity of these systems. The challenges that our customers often face are the result of multi-dimensional project settings with many stakeholders, interests, and systems as well as the complex workflows of one or several networked companies. Guaranteeing system qualities such as maintainability, usability or security is a key concern for our customers. We constructively approach these challenges in the early software engineering lifecycle with our requirements engineering competence and our architecture-centric engineering approach. Designing usable interfaces that provide a positive user experience for such systems is a challenge that our customers typically face. In addition to usability and user experience, we put a special focus on security, which is becoming increasingly important. Furthermore, we ensure and verify required system qualities with our integrated quality assurance competence. Effective variation management methods help our customers to cope with the multitude of variants and configurations of their systems.