CE-IQS is the expertise centre for engineering and quality of systems. Its objective is to provide Walloon ICT enterprises with an advanced expertise for developing software based systems. The performance and competitiveness of the industrial network relies ever more on mastering of information and communication technologies. This yields for all key economic sectors such as logistics, mechanics, pharmaceutics, aeronautics,… SMEs are especially vulnerable given the low resource level they can allocate to R&D in this domain. CE-IQS is an answer to this need by closely associating ICT enterprises to innovative research carried out by a strong applied research consortium composed of major research centers and universities active in this field.
The CE-IQS project is providing applied research services to enterprises through a structured set of applied research activities involving specialized partners among the involved universities and research centers. Any enterprise in Wallonia can be associated with the research of the centre through the filling of a simple file describing their needs. Those will be matched and help focus one or several research tasks of CE-IQS structured around five main themes.
Theme 1 : methodologies for system development and evolution. In this theme, state of the art methodologies for system development will be investigated, especially with the aim of easing their evolution. In particular, specific activities will be devoted to model-driven development at earlier stage than code (architecture, requirements) and software products lines. CE-IQS will not only provide business methods but also investigate related productivity tools to maintain and improve the control of systems throughout their life. A specific focus will also be devoted to the study of embedded system.
Theme 2 : strategies of verification, validation and quality assessment of systems. The objective is to improve quality assurance practices, especially related to testing in order to allow cost reduction, better quality and quicker time to market. More specifically, this theme investigates techniques for identifying optimal test coverage related to code quality, for precisely assessing that coverage and for automating the test process based on a number of techniques, including model-based testing. A complementary task related to design time verification is also investigated.
Theme 3 : certification is required in a growing number of applications with critical aspects, such as security or dependability ; moreover assurance levels are also constantly increasing due to the ubiquitous presence of software in current systems. A number of standards define the certification rules to be met such as the common criteria (IEC/ISO 15408) for security IT, DO-178B in aeronautics. The CE-IQS will help companies to get ready for certification through all phases of the project and especially to raise required practices. This will also enable them to reach new markets. CE-IQS will also be the relay of the enterprises to defend their interests in the international committees that develop and evolve standards. Belgian eID application will also be considered for this point of view.
Theme 4 : distributed and embedded systems. Software systems are increasingly interconnected through a variety of network. This results in richer but also more complex to design systems. A variety of such systems are actively investigated :
Theme 5 : semantic information processing. At the age of information, being able to filter, organize and process information is critical for many companies relying on it for their business. The aim of this theme is to identify, adapt and further develop new processing technologies such as search engines, indexers and OCR to the need of those companies.
CETIC is coordinating the CE-IQS portfolio and is responsible of the active involvement of SMEs in projects activities. CETIC is also leading the main research themes and is triggering specific dissemination activities directed towards the enterprises.
Project key results
The applied research conducted by the CE-IQS typically involves an industrial prototype or methodological deployment that results in an effective transfer to the partnering companies. These are the main achievements of the CE-IQS in 2010, including examples of results transfer to the industrial partners :