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Modeling Autonomous Systems

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Middleware designed to describe sensing, control, and computational communications of components within unmanned systems enables the creation of clean interfaces between the low-level mechanics of such systems and the higher-level logic designed to control them. This paper presents a modeling environment with a domain-specific ontology for autonomous systems, capable of generating software necessary for intercomputer communications according to existing autonomous systems middleware standards. Metamodels are used to specify the domain-specific modeling language to model the messages used, the interfaces between components, and some of the functionality of the components that transmit and receive messages. The generated code supports the high data rates expected in autonomous systems that use lossy message compression. Tests for the messaging infrastructure are also generated for the messages. Also, using this research, this code generation process can be extended to any component-based platform with a similar ontology. The case study and test environment for the software generated by this project is an autonomous ground vehicle, modeled on a Ford Escape Hybrid and used in laboratory experiments.


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