5/27/2005 - Verum Consultants announced that the application of its Analytical Software Design (ASD) on behalf of Philips Applied Technologies, Department of Mechatronics has resulted in a 10-fold reduction in software defects in comparison to a traditional approach to implementing the same functionality.
Philips Applied Technologies deployed this new approach from Verum to deliver industrial quality levels to software and predictable time to market for future projects.
It found that ASD resulted in a design and implementation of a much higher quality than can be achieved by conventional methods, with a 10-fold reduction in software defects found during initial integration testing. Using ASD gave the team the ability to automatically generate up to 90 per cent of the code from the verified design specifications. Furthermore, the application of ASD was cost neutral over conventional design methods.
"I have a much higher level of confidence in the quality of software produced using ASD than that produced using conventional methods. ASD is the first formal method informal enough to be applied in practice," said G. M. P. Haagh, Senior Software Architect, Department of Mechatronics, Philips Applied Technologies.
"For future projects, the application of ASD will result in a predictable completion date," he added.
A joint development team from Philips Applied Technologies, Department of Mechatronics and Verum Consultants together applied (ASD) techniques to the development of the MagLev Stage. This is a subsystem designed to be incorporated into a variety of industrial systems that require medium speed, highly accurate positioning, scanning or contouring for applications in a broad range of semiconductor related environments. This enabled the complete software design to be modelled mathematically and model-checked for correctness prior to implementation.
"Existing software development methods have reached a quality ceiling that incremental improvements in process and technology are failing to break. Verum's ASD provides a radically new approach to addressing this issue as the results from Philips Applied Technologies, Department of Mechatronics show," said Robert Howe, CEO, Verum Consultants.
ASD - a new approach to deliver predictability to software
ASD is a technique developed by Verum that applies software engineering mathematics, developed by the University of Oxford, to industrial software development. Verum uses ASD to produce a functional model of the software design that is verifiably correct. This is exactly how a structural engineer would verify that a building's design is structurally sound before construction commences.
By removing functional errors before coding commences, developers are able to dramatically increase the quality of the implementation and ultimately the quality of the final product. Current defect removal strategies only identify errors during or after coding is complete and testing commences - an approach that is exceedingly costly and dramatically increases time to market.
According to the Sustainable Computing Consortium there are typically 20 to 30 bugs per 1,000 lines of software code, whilst The National Institute of Standards and Technology recently reported that developers typically spend 80 per cent of development costs on identifying and correcting errors.
ASD specifications are understandable and usable by project stakeholders without knowledge of software engineering mathematics; there is no complex mathematical notation to be learned. ASD enables experienced consultants from Verum to work productively together with domain experts in a joint design team in an existing software development environment and with software engineers and architects not specifically trained in the method.
Philips Applied Technologies is part of Royal Philips Electronics and supports Philips, its partners and suppliers as well as a selected number of non-Philips companies through the application of a range of technologies.
A project summary and technical paper on the Philips Applied Technologies, Department of Mechatronics project is available from the Verum Consultants web site at www.verum.com/cases/philips%20apptech.htm
Verum was founded in 2003 by Guy Broadfoot and Robert Howe two veterans of the software delopment industry. The company specialises in the mathematical design and verification of complex software for the original equipment (OEM), automotive, medical and telecoms markets. Verum has developed a technique called Analytical Software Design (ASD) that enables software specifications to be described and verified mathematically prior to development. In addition ASD produces data sets that can be used for statistical testing of the end result. Verum adds this element to a client's own engineering process by working closely with the client's software architects and designers. For further information please visit www.verum.com.
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