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Background and Motivation

Motivation and original vision

There are several important trends in the embedded computer systems landscape: (i) Rapid technology development; microelectronics is becoming smaller, cheaper, faster, more power efficient, and the use of both wired and wireless connectivity is increasing. (ii) The integration of products into larger systems and the integration of different types of systems, such as business and technical systems are both increasing, as is the number and complexity of functions in embedded computer systems. (iii) The balance-point between what is economically feasible and technically possible is constantly shifting, leading to replacement of specialized solutions by standardized programmable embedded computer systems, as well as (iv) the introduction of embedded computer systems Technology in new areas. [more]

In common for all these trends is the increasing importance of software for providing functionality and cost-effectiveness. Already today, for many products, software related costs amounts to more than half of the life-cycle costs. In the future, software will have an even more dominating role owing to the possibilities provided by the exponentially growing hardware performance and capacity, in combination with a strong market pressure that forces system developers to include software to provide features and functions – even beyond what can be predictably handled.

In contrast with office and desktop applications, embedded computer systems have to meet a number of specific constraints and requirements related to performance, resource consumption, and dependability as well as life-cycle requirements on costs, time, and effort. By the very reactive nature of their interactions with the environment, a majority of these systems also have stringent real-time requirements, which are crucial for correct functioning. To meet these requirements companies are spending extensive efforts in development and testing, but have less and less ability to guarantee the required system behaviour, i.e., present design methodologies are becoming inadequate. Moreover, adaptability of the development to cater to a diverse set of requirements considering both technical and business constraints will be essential. Hence, to solve the problems of the future, solutions of today are both insufficient and inefficient.

The PROGRESS grand challenge is to provide the tools and techniques necessary for cost-efficient development of future computer controlled products, with 100 times increased functionality, developed in one 10th of the time, with increased and predictable quality, while keeping the costs under control. While being novel and innovative, these tools and techniques should allow to be gradually incorporated in today’s processes and tool chains, and support seamless integration of legacy as well as newly developed code. To meet this grand challenge several facets of product development need to be advanced, among which Embedded Software (ESW) development is paramount.

A major bottleneck in cost effective ESW development stems from the non-scalability of the current software technology in terms of time and cost. With increasing system complexity, including requirements complexity, large-scale integration, and domain growth, the efforts required for software development grows beyond control. Today, product simplification strategies seem to be the only remedy. Scalable ESW development is a key challenge addressed by PROGRESS. By adopting a software-component approach to engineering and re-engineering of embedded software systems, PROGRESS provides theories, methods, and tools that increase quality and reduce life-cycle costs.


PROGRESS’ mission is to advance the state-of-the-art in engineering of ESW, and to be a partner for industry pointing out technical opportunities and providing methods and tools to help mastering current and emerging challenges in ESW development.[more]

PROGRESS’ vision as formulated in the application 2005 is to be a worldwide-recognised centre in software engineering of embedded real-time systems with extensive contacts/exchange with other leading universities and to be the preferred partner for industry in Sweden and Europe in this growing technology field.


PROGRESS has its roots in the research into Software Engineering and Real-Time Systems at MRTC, as well as in the research in the SSF framework project SAVE (2002-2005). SAVE was a national project led by MDH and with additional participation from KTH, Linköping University and Uppsala University. In PROGRESS the component-model work within in SAVE has been further developed. Actually, in the initial years of PROGRESS, efforts was spent on finalizing the SAVE component framework, which then was used as an important basis for the ProCom component model developed in PROGRESS. In addition to the component model research, PROGRESS is built on MRTC research on Software Engineering and Real-Time Systems.

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  • Latest update: 2013.02.25