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An investigation into agile methods in embedded systems development

: Oliveira Albuquerque, Caroline; Antonino, Pablo; Nakagawa, Elisa Yumi

Kaiserslautern, 2012, 16 S.
IESE-Report, 050.12/E
Reportnr.: 050.12/E
Fraunhofer IESE ()
embedded system; agile software development; embedded system development

Embedded systems are widely used in diverse areas, such as avionics, consumer electronics, and medical equipments, causing a considerable impact on modern society. Since these systems sometimes deal directly with human lives, and require a considerable level of quality, their development should be subject to a rigorous process. In another perspective, agile methods (or agile processes) have been adopted by the software industry as a lightweight, iterative, and collaborative approach for developing software systems. Although agile methods do not seem to be suitable to embedded systems, they have been successfully used for building such systems. However, there exists no detailed and analytical overview of the use of such methods in the embedded systems domain. The main objective of this paper is to present a detailed view of how agile methods have been used in the development of embedded systems, and to describe their benefits, challenges, and limitations. For this, we have applied Systematic Review, a technique for systematically exploring, organizing, summarizing, and assessing potentially all works conducted in a specific research area. As the main result, we have observed that agile methods have brought advantages to embedded systems development; however, more studies should be conducted. Furthermore, this work is also intended to contribute to the identification of important new research lines.