Combining aspects and object-orientation in model-driven engineering for distributed industrial mechatronics systems

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Recent advances in technology enable the creation of complex industrial systems comprising mechanical, electrical, and logical - software - components. It is clear that new project techniques are demanded to support the design of such systems. At design phase, it is extremely important to raise abstraction level in earlier stages of product development in order to deal with such a complexity in an efficient way. This paper discusses Model Driven Engineering (MDE) applied to design industrial mechatronics systems. An aspect-oriented MDE approach is presented by means of a real-world case study, comprising requirements engineering up to code generation. An assessment of two well-known high-level paradigms, namely Aspect- and Object-Oriented paradigms, is deeply presented. Their concepts are applied at every design step of an embedded and real-time mechatronics system, specifically for controlling a product assembler industrial cell. The handling of functional and non-functional requirements (at modeling level) using aspects and objects is further emphasized. Both designs are compared using a set of software engineering metrics, which were adapted to be applied at modeling level. Particularly, the achieved results show the suitability of each paradigm for the system specification in terms of reusability quality of model elements. Focused on the generated code for each case study, statistics depicted an improvement in number of lines using aspects.