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Constrained expressions: Adding analysis capabilities to design methods for concurrent software systems

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4 Author(s)
George S. Avrunin ; Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003 ; Laura K. Dillon ; Jack C. Wileden ; William E. Riddle

An approach to the design of concurrent software systems based on the constrained expression formalism is described. This formalism provides a rigorous conceptual model for the semantics of concurrent computations, thereby supporting analysis of important system properties as part of the design process. This approach allows designers to use standard specification and design languages, rather than forcing them to deal with the formal model explicitly or directly. As a result, the approach attains the benefits of formal rigor without the associated pain of unnatural concepts or notations for its users. The conceptual model of concurrency underlying the constrained expression formalism treats the collection of possible behaviors of a concurrent system as a set of sequences of events. The constrained expression formalism provides a useful closed-form description of these sequences. Algorithms were developed for translating designs expressed in a wide variety of notations into these constrained expression descriptions. A number of powerful analysis techniques that can be applied to these descriptions have also been developed.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering  (Volume:SE-12 ,  Issue: 2 )