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SPARTACAS: automating component reuse and adaptation

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2 Author(s)
Morel, B. ; Inf. & Telecommun. Technol., Kansas Univ., Lawrence, KS, USA ; Alexander, P.

A continuing challenge for software designers is to develop efficient and cost-effective software implementations. Many see software reuse as a potential solution; however, the cost of reuse tends to outweigh the potential benefits. The costs of software reuse include establishing and maintaining a library of reusable components, searching for applicable components to be reused in a design, as well as adapting components toward a proper implementation. We introduce SPARTACAS, a framework for automating specification-based component retrieval and adaptation that has been successfully applied to synthesis of software for embedded and digital signal processing systems. Using specifications to abstractly represent implementations allows automated theorem-provers to formally verify logical reusability relationships between specifications. These logical relationships are used to evaluate the feasibility of reusing the implementations of components to implement a problem. Retrieving a component that is a complete match to a problem is rare. It is more common to retrieve a component that partially satisfies the requirements of a problem. Such components have to be adapted. Rather than adapting components at the code level, SPARTACAS adapts the behavior of partial matches by imposing interactions with other components at the architecture level. A subproblem is synthesized that specifies the missing functionality required to complete the problem; the subproblem is used to query the library for components to adapt the partial match. The framework was implemented and evaluated empirically, the results suggest that automated adaptation using architectures successfully promotes software reuse, and hierarchically organizes a solution to a design problem.

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Software Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:30 ,  Issue: 9 )