SuLMaSS – Sustainable Lifecycle Management for Scientific Software

Research

The DFG research project SuLMaSS has the objective to improve, develop and evaluate sustainable lifecycle management for research software, using simulation software for cardiac electrophysiology.

In this project, the infrastructure for sustainable lifecycle management of research software will be improved, developed and evaluated to support the development of this type of software. This infrastructure will be tested by using existing simulation software for cardiac electrophysiology.

On the one hand, the project has the objective to provide OpenCarp, a high-quality and user-friendly software package for cardiac electrophysiology, which is distributed under an open-source licence, while, on the other hand, infrastructure components are to be developed for testing, versioning and referencing, as well as for the secure storage of all phases of the software lifecycle. These components will be tested with the help of OpenCarp, and the results will be documented and made available to the general public as best practice examples, so that the German and international development of research software can benefit from these experiences, the documented best practice examples and from the infrastructure components that have been created.

Graphics: Kharnagy, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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By consequently utilizing DevOps practices, we will maximize software quality, speed up development, and ensure we meet the true needs of our users.

Software testing with Autotester

Performing software tests and integrating these tests into the infrastructure, as part of Continuous Integration, is an important part of the sustainable software lifecycle. Autotester is software that is being developed at the IAM-CMS and enables so-called black box tests to be carried out automatically. Instead of testing individual parts of the software in isolation, the entire system is viewed as a self-contained black box and executed with certain input data and parameters. The results of the execution are then validated on the basis of previously defined regulations, for example by comparing them with reference data sets, using case-specific rules. By checking the results on the basis of real and often complex use cases of the software, these software tests help to ensure the quality of the research software.

Autotester has so far been part of the software package PACE3D (Parallel Algorithms for Crystal Evolution in 3D), developed at the IAM-CMS, and will be extended within the SuLMaSS project to be used for OpenCARP and other research software as well. For this reason, the source code of Autotester has been published with a free licence.

SuLMaSS

The project SuLMaSS (Sustainable Lifecycle Management for Research Software - Software Distribution and Infrastructure Development Using Simulation Software for Cardiac Electrophysiology) has been funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) since 2018. The project is being worked on in collaboration with the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (IBT), the Steinbuch Centre for Computing (SCC), the library of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the University Heart Centre Freiburg-Bad Krozingen of the University of Freiburg.