The tool ASCET-MD supports the specification of model components on physical level with block diagrams, state machines, conditional tables, Boolean tables or textually, using ESDL or C language. The underlying object-based model architecture allows to flexibly combine model components specified with these different notations, and to build up models hierarchically. Once defined, model components can be used in different projects.
The use of a model as an executable specification, i.e., the primary means for knowledge capture and transfer, represents the key benefit of model based software development. Because ASCET based ECU application software models serve as the source for executable code, ensure its documentation, and furnish artifacts necessary for other process steps, they greatly reduce ambiguity. From the very beginning – that is, starting as a simple model of new ECU functions during the requirements capture phase – to the final representation of target code, an ASCET model can be executed at any point in the software development process. As soon as the software is implemented on a target, it can be verified against the model to ensure that it meets envisioned design goals. As executable specifications, ASCET models facilitate the detection of errors early in the process, at which point they are easier and less costly to fix.