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

Specification-Based Prototyping for Embedded Systems

Specification of software for safety critical, embedded computer systems has been widely addressed in literature. To achieve the high level of confidence in a specification's correctness necessary in many applications, manual inspections, formal verification, and simulation must be used in concert. Researchers have successfully addressed issues in inspection and verification; however, results in the areas of execution and simulation of specifications have not made as large an impact as desired. In this paper we present an approach to specification-based

Designing Specification Languages: Lessons Learned and Steps to the Future

Previously we defined a blackbox formal system modeling language called RSML (Requirements State Machine Language). The language was developed over several years while specifying the system requirements for a collision avoidance system for commercial passenger aircraft. During the language development, we received continual feedback and evaluation by FAA employees and industry representatives, which helped us to produce a specification language that is easily learned and used by application experts.

Designing Specification Languages for Process Control Systems: Lessons Learned and Steps to the Future

Previously, we defined a blackbox formal system modeling language called RSML (Requirements State Machine Language). The language was developed over several years while specifying the system requirements for a collision avoidance system for commercial passenger aircraft. During the language development, we received continual feedback and evaluation by FAA employees and industry representatives, which helped us to produce a specification language that is easily learned and used by application experts. Since the completion of the RSML project, we have continued our research

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