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Isabel Dietrich, "Syntony: A Framework for UML-Based Simulation, Analysis, and Test," PhD Thesis, Department of Computer Science, Friedrich–Alexander University of Erlangen–Nuremberg (FAU), July 2010. (Advisors: Reinhard German and Falko Dressler; Referees: Reinhard German and Klaus Meyer-Wegener)


Model-based development provides means for efficient and platform independent software engineering. Especially UML2 is becoming a de-facto standard in this domain. To enable an early performance evaluation of systems modeled with UML, we envision the usage of UML models instead of regular simulation models to conduct discrete-event simulations. This facilitates the integration of simulation into model-based development processes, leading to a faster and more efficient system design process. We developed the framework Syntony to support discrete-event simulation based on standard-compliant UML models. According to the principle of communicating automata, system models may consist of composite structure, state machine, and activity diagrams. Furthermore, the MARTE profile allows to specify performance attributes and measures. Syntony automatically transforms UML models to executable code for the simulation engine OMNeT++. Integrated into the Eclipse framework, Syntony supports various simulation techniques for simulation control, design of experiments, and result analysis. To facilitate modeling of detailed activity diagrams, we introduce the activity language Casual as a textual representation for activity diagrams. The corresponding compiler replaces segments of Casual code in UML models with standard-compliant activity diagrams. This ensures that the UML models do not contain code in a non-standard language and enables the usage of Casual in generic UML projects. For system model validation, we developed a model-based test method similar to unit testing. Test cases may be specified with UML sequence diagrams. Syntony can automatically transform these test cases and execute them against the simulation generated from the UML system model. The test verdict provides information about the errors found in the system model. We show the flexibility and extensibility of our approach by using Syntony as a code generator for numerical image processing algorithms. Here, the UML system model represents multigrid algorithms. Syntony is used to transform this model to executable C++ code. In the case study, we use Syntony to analyze the lifetime of a wireless sensor network in an industrial context. We introduce the network lifetime as a new metric and show its integration into the UML modeling process. We then compare the network's performance for two different node behavior models.

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Isabel Dietrich

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    author = {Dietrich, Isabel},
    title = {{Syntony: A Framework for UML-Based Simulation, Analysis, and Test}},
    advisor = {German, Reinhard and Dressler, Falko},
    institution = {Department of Computer Science},
    location = {Erlangen, Germany},
    month = {7},
    referee = {German, Reinhard and Meyer-Wegener, Klaus},
    school = {Friedrich--Alexander University of Erlangen--Nuremberg (FAU)},
    type = {PhD Thesis},
    year = {2010},

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