Goals

Objective 1: Enable companies to make an informed decision on variability use in safety-critical ES
The VARIES project will enable a company to make variability decisions in her ES based on hard, tangible evidence instead of subjective ‘good feeling’, and will allow the same companies to assess the impact of their variability decisions across the entire product life cycle.
Moreover, VARIES will allow companies to better define the product variants that are of most value
to the market segments they serve.
Serving different market segments may introduce constraints on the product variants, e.g. safety regulations in automotive sub sectors. The VARIES project will provide companies support to better assess these boundary conditions and their impact on product variability.
Objective 2: Providing effective variability architectures and approaches for safety-critical embedded systems
Managing variability aspects of safety-critical ES without negatively impacting the safety aspects is a huge challenge today. Managing the safety characteristics of an embedded system at (reusable) component level will introduce yet another level of complexity that will have to be properly managed.
By definition, safety is a property pertaining to the entire system; determining the system level and its justification based on the specific characteristics of the individual elements composing the system is far from straightforward today. Providing assurance concerning the adequate management of hazards and risks is a regulatory requirement and a prerequisite for the deployment of a safety-critical system. A safety case, through its arguments and evidence, provides this justification of the system is acceptably safe to operate within its intended environment. From the perspective of a product line, the safety case should be systematically developed and maintained, ensuring the management of the impact of variation on safety assurance supported by the traceability between the product-line artefacts and the safety case concepts.
VARIES will provide an integration of safety assessment into the product-line processes, and concrete guidance with regard to reference architectures and approaches to realize variability without compromising the safety characteristics of the ES.
Special attention will be given to the composition of reliable and unreliable components and on the impact on safety of this composition. Moreover, VARIES will also enable a company to trade off safety and variability, i.e., determining the optimal balance between both aspects.
Objective 3: Consistent, integrated and continuous variability management over the entire product life cycle
VARIES will enable consistent, continuous and integrated variability management over the whole product life cycle for a single company as well as between collaborating companies. Special attention will be given to the multi-disciplinary aspects in complex embedded systems engineering, including safety and certification aspects.