University of Minnesota
Software Engineering Center
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Mats Heimdahl

Photo of Mats Heimdahl
Computer Science and Engineering Department Head
Professor
Phone Number: 
612-625-2068
Office Location: 
Kenneth H Keller Hall room 6-201
Education: 

M.S. Computer Science and Engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden, 1988.

Ph.D. Computer Science, University of California at Irvine, 1994.

Biography: 

Professor Mats Heimdahl specializes in software engineering and safety critical systems. He is the director of the University of Minnesota Software Engineering Center (UMSEC).

Heimdahl is the recipient of the National Science Foundation's CAREER award, a McKnight Land-Grant Professorship and the McKnight Presidential Fellow award at the University of Minnesota, and the University of Minnesota Award for Outstanding Contributions to Post-Baccalaureate, Graduate, and Professional Education.

Research: 

Software is increasingly involved in our lives; software controls physical systems ranging from microwave ovens and watches to nuclear power plants, aircraft, and cars. Computer-related failures can, in many of these applications, have catastrophic effects.

My research group, the Critical Systems Research Group (CriSys), is conducting research in software engineering and is investigating methods and tools to help us develop software with predictable behavior free from defects.

Research in this area spans all aspects of system development ranging from concept formation and requirements specification, through design and implementation, to testing and maintenance. In particular, we are currently investigating model-based software development for critical systems.

Specifically, we are focusing on how to use various static verification techniques to assure that software requirements models possess desirable properties, how to correctly generate production code from software requirements models, how to validate models, and how to effectively use the models in the testing process.

Interests: 

Software engineering and safety critical systems.

Recent Publications

Modeling and Requirements on the Physical Side of Cyber-Physical Systems

In a cyber-physical system (a system where the physical world interacts extensively with—often networked— software), the physical portion of the system resides in the continuous and continual domain. Thus, on the physical side of cyber-physical systems we will have to contend with not only real time requirements but also the continuous and continual nature of the system.

Using Models to Address Challenges in Specifying Requirements for Medical Cyber-Physical Systems

Gathering and analyzing Cyber-Physical System (CPS) requirements pose some challenges to the requirements engineering community warranting a fresh perspective on requirement engineering methods; a perspective that is sensitive to the interplay between the cyber and physical aspects of the system. In this paper we share our experiences and lessons learned in the process of formulating requirements for a generic version of an infusion pump, a commonly used piece of medical equipment.

Your "What" is My "How": Iteration and Hierarchy in System Design

Systems are naturally constructed in hierarchies, in which design choices made at higher levels of abstraction levy requirements on system components at the lower levels. Thus, whether an aspect of a system is a design choice or a requirement largely depends on your vantage point within the system components' hierarchy. Systems are also often constructed from the middle-out rather than top-down; compatibility with existing systems and architectures and availability of specific components influence high-level requirements.

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