AN INVESTIGATION OF THE APPLICABILITY OF SOFTWARE PRODUCT LINE ENGINEERING FOR ENERGY AND COST-EFFICIENT GREENHOUSE PRODUCTION

Hans Martin Mærsk-Møller

Research output: Book/anthology/thesis/reportPh.D. thesisResearch

Abstract

Software product line engineering (SPLE) has shown promising results with respect to software reuse and has a wide range of benefits. Thus, we want to investigate the applicability of SPLE to develop tools for improving the energy and cost-efficiency of greenhouse production in Denmark. Supplementary lighting is utilized to compensate for the light conditions in the darker months of the year in order to grow certain plants. This is both energy consuming and expensive, as the cost of electricity is high. New knowledge on the plasticity in plants to irregular light patterns is basis for a novel control concept, called DynaLight, which reduces the energy consumption and cost by optimizing the use of the supplementary light in greenhouses.

As the DynaLight concept can be used to analyze, plan and control production, a tool suite has to be developed. The need for developing multiple tools, or products, makes the development potentially suitable for SPLE, which exhibits reuse advantages with development of multiple similar products. One small team of developers is assigned to develop the tools. Hence, there is a demand for an effective method to develop, maintain and evolve multiple tools with few developers. SPLE provides a method, where additional products only require relatively limited additional effort. Thus, this also supports an exploratory study of SPLE applicability. However, there is a lack of detailed and tangible SPLE methodologies specifically for small teams. Furthermore, SPLE has not been applied to this domain before, hence, there is no empirical evidence to support that SPLE can be successfully applied.

The envisioned tool suite consists of one web-based tool, DynaLight Web, which allows the growers to analyze their postproduction data for potential savings on energy and cost, and two desktop tools, the first, DynaLight Desktop, a day-ahead-light-planning tool, and the second, DynaLight Desktop w/control, with the added capability to execute the plans by actuating the light inside the greenhouses.

This work provides a SPLE methodology explicitly customized to our context especially with respect to small teams, it reports on the experience and describes the application in a detailed and tangible way. It describes the development process, the results of the tools with respect to cost and energy-efficiency, how component-based architecture is utilized as software product line architecture, and how the variability is managed and described using SPLE. It also describes how the DynaLight software product line and its products were developed. Doing so, it shows utilization of rich client platform technology in conjunction with SPLE, which has not been described earlier. Finally, it provides recommendations based on the experiences to guide others and help them avoid common pitfalls.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherSyddansk Universitet. Det Tekniske Fakultet
Number of pages213
Publication statusPublished - May 2012

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Greenhouses
Costs
Computer software reusability
Production control
Plasticity
Energy efficiency
Energy utilization
Electricity
Lighting
Planning

Keywords

  • Software Engineering, Reusability, Software Methodologies, Software Product Lines, Software Design, Energy and Cost-efficient Greenhouse Production, Supplementary Light, Control Systems

Cite this

Mærsk-Møller, Hans Martin. / AN INVESTIGATION OF THE APPLICABILITY OF SOFTWARE PRODUCT LINE ENGINEERING FOR ENERGY AND COST-EFFICIENT GREENHOUSE PRODUCTION. Syddansk Universitet. Det Tekniske Fakultet, 2012. 213 p.
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AN INVESTIGATION OF THE APPLICABILITY OF SOFTWARE PRODUCT LINE ENGINEERING FOR ENERGY AND COST-EFFICIENT GREENHOUSE PRODUCTION. / Mærsk-Møller, Hans Martin.

Syddansk Universitet. Det Tekniske Fakultet, 2012. 213 p.

Research output: Book/anthology/thesis/reportPh.D. thesisResearch

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