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Agile Methods for Embedded Systems Development - a Literature Review and a Mapping Study

Matti Kaisti, Ville Rantala, Tapio Mujunen, Sami Hyrynsalmi, Kaisa Könnölä, Tuomas Mäkilä, Teijo Lehtonen, Agile Methods for Embedded Systems Development - a Literature Review and a Mapping Study. EURASIP Journal of Embedded Systems 2013(15), 1–16, 2013.


There is a wide area of applications that use embedded systems, and the number of such systems keeps growing. The required functionality and complexity of embedded systems are also constantly increasing, and development of such products is becoming increasingly harder. This requires new thinking on the product development processes, and one such emerging philosophy is the agile methods. These methods were created by the software engineering community where they are commonly used. Since then, they have been adopted in embedded systems development; however, whether they can improve the embedded systems product development processes remains an open question. This study aims to bring forth what is known about agile methods in embedded systems development and to find out if agile practices are suitable in this domain and what evidence is there to support the findings. We conducted a literature review and a mapping study to answer these questions. The scope of this study is not only limited to embedded software development, but also to embedded hardware and integrated circuits. We have found that agile methods can be used in the embedded domain, but the methods and practices need to be adapted to suit the more constrained field of embedded product development. Furthermore, the field of embedded product development has wide diversity of products with different needs and domain-specific problems so that no single method is applicable, but rather many methods and practices are needed for different situations.

BibTeX entry:

  title = {Agile Methods for Embedded Systems Development - a Literature Review and a Mapping Study},
  author = {Kaisti, Matti and Rantala, Ville and Mujunen, Tapio and Hyrynsalmi, Sami and Könnölä, Kaisa and Mäkilä, Tuomas and Lehtonen, Teijo},
  journal = {EURASIP Journal of Embedded Systems},
  volume = {2013},
  number = {15},
  pages = {1–16},
  year = {2013},
  keywords = {Agile; Lean; Method; Embedded software; Embedded systems; Hardware; Integrated circuits},

Belongs to TUCS Research Unit(s): UTU Information Systems Science (ISS)

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