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Joint Research: UCI ISR-Boeing Anaheim Engineering Software Architecture-Based Development of Product Lines for the Software-Defined Radio Domain. Richard Taylor (UCI) Eric Dashofy (UCI) Haig F. Krikorian (Boeing) Michael J. Marich (Boeing). Topics. Overview

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Richard taylor uci eric dashofy uci haig f krikorian boeing michael j marich boeing l.jpg

Joint Research: UCI ISR-Boeing Anaheim EngineeringSoftware Architecture-Based Development of Product Lines for the Software-Defined Radio Domain

Richard Taylor (UCI)

Eric Dashofy (UCI)

Haig F. Krikorian (Boeing)

Michael J. Marich (Boeing)

Topics l.jpg

  • Overview

    • What is this joint research project all about?

    • Who is doing it?

    • Why are we doing it?

  • Software Defined Radio Background

  • Experience

    • What are we doing?

    • What are our goals/plans for the future?

  • Lessons Learned

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Joint Research Project

  • What is UCI’s role in this project?

    • Development/maturation of an architecture description language (ADL) and environment to capture product line variants

  • What is Boeing’s role in this project?

    • To determine if an ADL and its environment adds value to the development of a Software Defined Radio (SDR) architecture and its variants

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Research Participants

  • UCI Team:

    • Richard Taylor – Principal Investigator

    • Research Associates (led by Eric Dashofy)

  • Boeing Team:

    • Peter Heckman – Project Manager

    • Haig F. Krikorian – Associate Technical Fellow

    • Michael J. Marich – Software Systems Engineer

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  • ADLs funded by DARPA (circa 1996) attracted attention as a way to capture and show consistency across software systems

  • ADL advances included the ability to enforce h/w and s/w cross-component typing

  • Recent ADL advances attracted attention as a way to define, develop, and generate product lines architectures and variants

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Software Defined Radio*

  • Software Defined Radio is a collection of hardware and software technologies that enable reconfigurable system architectures for wireless networks and user terminals.

  • SDR provides an efficient and comparatively inexpensive solution to the problem of building multi-band, multifunctional wireless devices that can be adapted, updated, or enhanced by using software upgrades.

  • Radios built using SDR concepts can allow standard, open, and flexible architectures for a wide range of communications products.

  • The information provided on this page is taken from the open source, public domain:

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SDR as a Problem Domain

  • Software Defined Radios are radio devices that can be software-configured to perform many different tasks (“waveforms”), e.g.:

    • Video over VHF (Television)

    • Audio over FM (In-your-car radio)

    • VoIP over Wideband Network Waveform

  • SDR is a system-of-systems with many levels, each of which contains different kinds of variation

  • Architecture can provide value at each of these levels

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Network Level

  • Dynamic, varying configurations of vehicles and personnel carrying SDRs

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Unit Level

  • Varying unit-level hardware configurations

    • Multi-unit, 4 boards-per-unit, redundant, large form factor

    • Single unit, 2 boards, small form factor

SBC / 1 Channel

SBC / 1 Channel

SBC / 1 Channel

SBC / 1 Channel


Unit-level Hardware Configuration

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Board Level

  • Varying board-level hardware configurations

    • Number of processors, speed/capability of each, red-side/black-side

    • Other resources: RAM, cache, etc.

SBC / 1 Channel








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Software Level

Black Side GPP

  • Varying software configurations

    • Waveforms define set of components and capabilities

      • With many potential deployments depending on board/hardware config

    • Many waveforms deployed on unit/hardware configs

    • Logical connections over physical connections




Crypto Alg 1

Red Side GPP





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Our approach



xADL 2.0ArchitectureDescriptions


xADL 2.0


  • Translate deployment descriptors to xADL 2.0

  • Extend translated models with new data using additional xADL 2.0 schemas

  • Apply xADL 2.0 tools to translated descriptors

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Joint Research Experience

  • 2003: Developed a teaming relationship between UCI and Boeing

  • 2004: Applied UCI ArchStudio* and xADL to the Open Source SCARI** SDR Architecture

    • Identified architecture holes & inconsistencies

    • Captured complex hierarchical dependencies

    • Plans to generate initial product line variants


    ** Software Communications Architecture Reference Implementation:

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Lessons Learned

  • Partnership Lessons

    • Pushed research partner from software architecture to system architecture

    • Research partner responsiveness to questions and comments

    • Industry partner exposed to product family architecture capture and variant generation

  • Product Lessons

    • Leap to new technology (cost/benefit analysis)

    • Integrating technology with current process/procedures and tool sets

    • Product engineering (migration from research tool to industry use)

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Lessons Learned

  • Domain

    • SCARI model maturity prior to public release

    • “build me a consistent product variant”

    • “build me a broken product” (ad hoc, adaptable architecture)

    • Better (different) way to express deployment views (software and hardware configurations)

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2005 Research Focus

  • ArchStudio refinement:

    • Usability, learn-ability, productivity

    • Better depict product line variants

  • xADL refinement:

    • Capture heterogeneous architecture/styles

  • Architecture definition process development:

    • Augments the current UML tools to include an ADL for architecture capture and refinement

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Future Directions

  • ArchStudio / xADL refinements to:

    • Capture the multi-dimensional hardware and software relationships in dynamic, ad-hoc system architectures and their variants

    • Improve the representation of system deployment views of hierarchical assembly architectures

  • Track other (e.g., π-ADL) progress:

    • Identify potential xADL advancements

    • Identify architecture definition process improvements