Modeling Robotics Software Architectures with Modular Model Transformations
Robotics started employing architecture description languages (ADLs) model software architectures. While facilitating software engineering, this introduces a gap when reusing solutions encoded in middleware modules. Existing robotics architecture modeling focuses on domain challenges instead of tool modularity. Thus customizing robotics architecture modeling tool to generate solutions conforming to a different middleware is challenging. This could lead to a multitude of incompatible ’vendor-locked’ tool modeling chains and hamper reuse in robotics software engineering. We propose a modular architecture modeling method that rests on the separation of model processing, model transformation, and code generation. This facilitates translating architecture models into modules compatible to the middleware of choice. We present this method for the component & connector ADL MontiArcAutomaton, which yields and extensible tool chain to translate software architecture models gradually into middleware modules. Using modular tool chains to support architecture modeling enables reaping the benefits of ADLs while reusing solutions encoded in popular middlewares and, ultimately, facilitates robotics software engineering.
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