Embedded systems play an increasingly important role in today's society. The spectrum of embedded systems ranges, for example, from mobile phones to X-by-wire control systems in cars and airplanes. Today, about 98 % of the programmable CPUs run as embedded systems. Continuously growing complexity, dropping performance/cost ratio of hardware, and increasing demands on connectivity and security in the various application domains of embedded systems have a strong impact on the whole user and development community. A consortium consisting of the three independent institutes listed above has been formed to build a knowledge base, called EmBase, with a focus on Austria and Prosperous surrounding regions. EmBase cover aspects such as, who is doing what in the area of Embedded Systems, which trends can be identified in industry, research and education? The study also comprises quantitative and qualitative assessments of the activities. The resulting EmBase will support individuals, private and public institutions and companies that implement, develop, support, purchase or sell embedded systems so that they can successfully identify key market trends and directions and align themselves and their activities with these trends. The study have formed the basis for a website analogous to GoogleNews (http://news.google.com): a fully automated Meta search engine that watches changes at Embedded Systems sites which have been identified in the EmBase project. The documents are presented similar to a newspaper according to their relevance. The EmBase website ensures that the results of the study further evolve over the time. The results of the EmBase project will also be presented in a printed booklet.
Embedded systems are playing an increasingly important role and have become a catalyst for change in the sectors of computing, data communications, telecommunications, industrial control, automotive, medical equipment and entertainment. Currently, several transitions in the application domain of embedded systems are taking place: The complexity of the functions to be covered is growing continuously. Due to Moore’s Law, cheaper and more powerful computing resources continue to support a shift from hardware-based to software-based systems. So far, embedded systems have mainly been stand-alone solutions. Now, embedded systems are increasingly connected in networks, which needs more sophisticated design techniques incorporating communication technologies and security mechanism. This shift in requirements will have a strong impact on the whole community involved in embedded systems, similar to the early stage of the introduction of the personal computer. Part of the project is dedicated to the effective information, communication and dialog with the addressed community regarding embedded technology and the study of legal impediments and potential novel solutions and applications. Thus, EmBase provide structured information in the embedded systems field for users and potential users of such systems. We point out the general activities and knowledge, relevant research activities, investigation of the various products, identifying the companies and major players in the field, ongoing cooperations, the need for personnel in the field of embedded system, and the qualification needs. Consequently, EmBase promote regional networks of embedded systems activities. Besides that, the EmBase Web site offer a partner search facility, e.g., for EU projects, a technologically oriented discussion panel, and a press-release section for promoting embedded systems activities. Overall, the EmBase study creates awareness on embedded systems and promote extensive deployment of high-potential products and solutions by our industry and research groups. The results of the study are handed over to the contracting body and the Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology.
The primary goals of the study are to:
- Find out who is who in embedded systems;
- Provide a comprehensive overview of available technologies, companies, research institutions, services, education and training facilities, qualification structures and needs and networks on embedded systems and their current use by the addressed parties in the observed region;
- Show global trends and visualize the current as well as the future impact of the global movementon the region;
- Identify possibilities and overcome problems and shortcomings in all aspects such as education and training, qualification, information networks, etc. within the target group;
- Locate and seed potential synergies to overcome the identified deficits and strengthen future participation in European projects to come (e.g., Integrated Projects, Medea+, Leonardo, etc.);
- Get information on the need for personnel in the field of embedded systems.
- Current and potential new embedded systems technology users (development community) in present as well as future fields of applications;
- Suppliers and vendors of embedded systems technology, including the associated suppliers of development technologies and methodologies;
- All organisations and people involved in research, education, training and consultancy in the area of embedded systems;
- The press that could easily get the information and at the same time present the companies, organisations etc. parties involved and in the project;
- Public organisations, funding agencies, and last but not least, the contracting authority, the BMVIT.
The EmBase portal provides a state-of-the-art information portal for embedded systems. It retrieves, classifies, and publishes news from other domain portals and individual web sites. Its target audience are companies, research centers, and educational institutions. To implement this portal, several steps were necessary: technology selection, coding algorithms, building evaluation sets. The portal uses three algorithms in parallel (k-NN, Rocchio, and Naïve Bayes) and creates a combined score from the results of each algorithm. We used known test collections for evaluating the portal such as Reuters25 and Usenet26, freely available for scientific research. The training for the final running system was performed on a collection of more than 15.000 documents, selected by the EmBase members. The results of the web portal show that we met our requirements in both, classification quality as well as user functionality. Depending on the training set, the accuracy of the classification is between 77-90%, which goes along with other experiments [FS02]. The portal provides two important features for its visitors: search capabilities and news presentation. Visitors can perform full-text searches in the document database. Consequently, they can use the portal for researching topics in the area of embedded systems. The portal also presents latest news in a stylish way. Visitors can quickly preview the last three news items from each category. Also, the presentation includes special marks added to the recent news to help visitors quickly identify hot new items. The analyzer module uses machine learning and provides a feasible solution for classifying documents in the area of embedded systems. This is important as the number of electronic documents is increasing, and manual classification is not possible, because of the total number and the frequency in which new documents are available. The module can be re-used to, for instance, classify lists of publications or the books in a library. As future work, we will continually improve the document training set by adding manually classified documents. In the long run, this will create an extensive training set for the area of embedded systems. Furthermore, we will add more companies to the watch list to enlarge the knowledge base.