Tools for Consistency Management

TC 61

SFB 476 innotec GmbH

Subproject T5

Tools for Consistency Management between Design Products

Project Description of the TC 61 subproject T5

During development processes in chemical engineering a plant is described from multiple inter-dependent perspectives by numerous logical documents, which are created by developers with different software tools. Between contents of these documents fine-granular dependencies exist. The subject of this transfer project are incremental and interactive tools (integrators) to support developers in consistency maintenance concerning these dependencies.

In the subproject B2 of the CRC 476 an approach was developed for a-posteriori-integration. It is based formally on rules describing corresponding structures. Fine-granular dependencies are recognized by the integrator by means of the rules, managed and stored explicitly in an integration document. For the definition of rules, a UML based modelling formalism was developed and realized. Together with our industrial partner innotec GmbH, an integrator framework, which contains an interpreter/compiler, that can execute and/or interprete integration rules at run-time, was created. A large number of realized integrators - among them an integrator for integrating flow sheets and simulation models - shows the applicability of the developed concepts.

Now together with innotec, the integration approach will be on the one hand further elaborated and on the other hand transferred into practice. A central role plays the system Comos PT of innotec, which is used during all engineering phases, e.g. for the creation of flow sheets. A goal of the transfer project is to design and realize a universal integrator platform for Comos PT inclusively an editor for integration rules. In addition, the integrator framework is to be integrated in Comos PT together with innotec. The challenges of the transfer project lie in the following aspects:

  • For process engineering developers, a comprehensible presentation of the complex concepts/data of the integration approach is needed. In particular this concerns the modelling of integration rules and also the interaction with the integrator.
  • The formalism of the definition of integration rules has to be extended for integration problems with a practical orientation. On the one hand simplified notations are needed, and on the other hand extensions of the rule definition language and rule execution is necessary, e.g. path expressions.
  • The underlying formal approach supports only the integration of two documents so far. It has to be extended to the integration of multiple documents.
  • On the basis of examples with a practical orientation, strategies are developed for the re-establishment of consistency after performing changes. So far, only the propagation of new elements is supported.
  • Apart from structures, also the propagation of attributes and their values have to be supported for the applicability in practice. An interesting special case is the translation of attributes into structure and the other way round.
  • All fine-granular dependencies have to be stored persistently in the Comos PT data model and used later.
  • The contents of the logical documents to be integrated lie distributed within the data base. A special wrapper realizes the access to the documents.

Project Data

Duration: July 2006 - June 2008
Financed by German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG)

Created by: system last modification: Thursday 01 of March, 2007 [09:14:10 UTC] by theresa