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Software Specification and Design, 1998. Proceedings. Ninth International Workshop on

Date 16-18 April 1998

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  • Proceedings Ninth International Workshop on Software Specification and Design

    Publication Year: 1998
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Author index

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 165
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Software architecture directed behaviour analysis

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 144 - 146
    Cited by:  Papers (19)
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    A Software Architecture is the overall structure of a system in terms of its constituent components and their interconnections. In this paper, we discuss an approach to using architectural description for the behavioural analysis of distributed software systems and some of the issues which arise in providing tool support. The approach is based on the use of finite state automata to specify behaviour and Compositional Reachability Analysis to check composite system models. The architecture description of a system is used directly to generate the model used for analysis View full abstract»

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  • Modal logic as a design notation

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 150 - 152
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    A notation to describe software system designs is given, together with the means to verify properties over them. Designs are considered as models of a modal logic. The procedure to derive the modal model associated to a design, the algorithm to check properties over a model, the method to define new relations and the method of model filtration are presented. The proposed logic (KPI, a poly-modal logic with inverse operators) is used as a property specification language verified through a model checking algorithm. The methods provided proved to be effective and simple to implement. A prototype tool has been developed in SML-NJ covering all functionalities described View full abstract»

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  • Enhancing design methods to support real design processes

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 159 - 161
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    Software design methods typically focus on the activities that individual designers should perform under ideal circumstances. They rarely, if ever, address the activities that should be performed when things do not go according to plan, such as when a customer requests changes to the specification, or when early design decisions must be changed. They also rarely address issues involving coordination of multiple designers in cooperative design tasks or in competition for limited resources. We are investigating fundamental concepts required for more complete definition of design methods, developing linguistic mechanisms within a process programming language to support these concepts, and validating these through the definition of a process program that incorporates the Booch method View full abstract»

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  • Specification and implementation of a distributed planning and information system for courses based on story driven modelling

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 77 - 86
    Cited by:  Papers (4)
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    Current object-oriented modelling methods focus on the specification of the static structure of software objects and their interaction at runtime. A major deficiency of these methods is that they do not provide means to specify the dynamic evolution of object structures. In this paper we propose a novel method called Story Driven Modelling (SDM) as a complementation to existing OO approaches. SDM employs so called story boards to analyse the dynamics of object structures as sequences of graphical snap shots for sample scenarios. A major benefit of this approach is that story boards are well understood even by laities, while they have well-defined syntax and semantics that gives way to semi-automatic derivation of subsequent specifications, like, for example, the static class hierarchy and dynamic operations on object structures. For the latter SDM employs a high-level, partly-graphical formalism called story flow diagram, which is based on the theory, of programmed graph rewriting systems. In this paper we illustrate SDM with a sample case study which is the development of a course program planning system for the computer science department at Paderborn University. We choose this particular example from a number of SDM applications since its domain theory is very similar to the reference example for IWSSD-9 (The Meeting Scheduler System) View full abstract»

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  • Towards an algebra of architectural connectors: a case study on synchronization for mobility

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 135 - 142
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
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    To cope with the flexibility and extensibility needed for the specification of the architecture of evolving software systems, it is useful to have a set of primitive connectors from which new ones can be created in a systematic way as needs arise and to connect components only when they are required to interact. This could be achieved with a connector algebra whose constants are given primitive connectors and whose operations allow the (transient) creation of new connectors. This paper is a step towards that goal. We put forward an application-independent connector for partial action synchronization and three generic operations. Applied to the basic connector they provide application-specific connectors for inhibition and full synchronization of actions. Moreover, we associate to each connector a condition stating when it should be applied to components View full abstract»

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  • V&V through inconsistency tracking and analysis

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 43 - 49
    Cited by:  Papers (3)
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    In this paper we describe a research agenda for a study into the use of inconsistency analysis as a tool for software V&V and in particular, the use of category theory as a basis for modeling consistency relationships between the various artifacts of software development, including specifications, design, test cases, etc. Our expectation is that inconsistency analysis is fundamental to much of the work of V&V and that a systematic approach will have impacts across a wide range of V&V tasks. Two goals are described: an account of the contribution of inconsistency analysis to various V&V analyses, and the development of a formal framework for inconsistency analysis. Our approach to the development of the latter is through the refinement of the viewpoint framework using the language of category theory. We discuss the relationship between specification morphisms, as conventional conceived in work on composition of specifications, and inter-viewpoint consistency relationships. We conclude that inconsistency analysis has the potential to address the `air gaps' between methods used during the various phases of the software lifecycle View full abstract»

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  • A coordination model to specify systems including mobile agents

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 96 - 105
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    A coordination model provides a formal framework in which the interaction of active entities that we call agents can be expressed. A coordination model deals with the creation and destruction of agents, their communication activities, their distribution and mobility in space, as well as the synchronization and distribution of their actions over time. We show how a coordination model called PoliS offers a flexible basis for the description and the analysis of architectures of systems including mobile agents. We have developed a model checking technique for the automatic analysis of PoliS specifications View full abstract»

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  • An exercise in formal reasoning about mobile communications

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 25 - 33
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
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    With recent advances in wireless communication and the ubiquity of laptops, mobile computing has become an important research area. An essential problem in mobile computing is the delivery of a message from a source (stationary or mobile) to a desired mobile unit. Standard solutions used in Mobile IP and cellular phones rely on tracking the mobile unit. Tracking solutions scale badly when mobile units move frequently. Our paper proposes a new message delivery algorithm and includes a proof outline using the UNITY logic. Our algorithm requires no tracking and provides stronger guarantees than existing protocols View full abstract»

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  • Business rules as organizational policies

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 68 - 76
    Cited by:  Papers (9)  |  Patents (1)
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    Business rules are an important concept in the requirements definition process of computer based information systems. They have been used by information technology professionals and by database modeling, but few researchers in requirements engineering are studying them. From our point of view, business rules must be seen as very generic statements about the organization. As such, we have made the traditional distinction, used in business administration, between policy and procedure, We focus on policies and as such bring more stability to the business rules. On the other hand, we tie the business rule to our requirements baseline, making it possible to analyze changes from the viewpoint of organizational policies, which are better understood by mid and upper managers. We use the meeting scheduler IWSSD case study to illustrate our ideas View full abstract»

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  • Why IDLs are not ideal

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 2 - 7
    Cited by:  Papers (4)
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    The dominant approach to addressing heterogeneity, interoperability and legacy software components at present is based on the use of interface description languages (IDLs) such as the OMG/CORBA IDL. We believe that this approach has serious drawbacks. In this paper we outline our objections to the IDL-based approach, then describe ongoing research directed toward producing a superior alternative, which we refer to as the polylingual systems approach. We illustrate both our objections to the IDL-based approach and also our new polylingual systems approach with examples based on the IWSSD common case study View full abstract»

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  • Putting non-functional requirements into software architecture

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 60 - 67
    Cited by:  Papers (10)  |  Patents (1)
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    This paper presents an approach for incorporating non-functional information of software system into software architectures. To do so, components present two distinguished slots: their non-functional specification, where non-functional requirements on components are placed, and their non-functional behaviour with respect to these requirements. Also, connector protocols may describe which non-functional aspects are relevant to component connections. We propose a notation to describe non-functionality in a systematic manner, and we use it to analyse two particular aspects of the meeting scheduler case study, user interaction and performance View full abstract»

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  • Traceability and modularity in software design

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 87 - 95
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    A software design specification consists of a number of documents that describe various aspect of the design at different levels of detail, that are lined in many ways. This paper shows how different designs may use different modularization criteria, and how documents describing these designs may be linked in a coherent way, even if the designs use techniques borrowed from structured as well as object-oriented analysis and design. Illustrations are taken from the meeting scheduler case study View full abstract»

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  • Methodological support for requirements elicitation and formal specification

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 153 - 155
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    We propose a method for the elicitation and the expression of requirements. The requirements can then be transformed in a systematic way into a formal specification that is a suitable basis for design and implementation of a software system. The approach-which distinguishes between requirements and specifications-gives methodological support for requirements elicitation and specification development. It does not introduce a new language but builds on known techniques View full abstract»

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  • DESCARTES: an automatic programming system for algorithmically simple programs

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 106 - 115
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    Most research work in the field of automatic programming has been focused on conceptually complex problems. However, although most of the programs we are generally faced with may be very big and manage large volumes of data, they are conceptually simple. Starting from this consideration, we have developed, since 1992, a system called DESCARTES which, fully automatically, generates programs written in conventional procedural languages, starting from program specifications expressed in a mathematical type formal specification language. The first operational version of the system which represents about one million of C lines has already been used in several industrial applications, and especially to specify and generate a nuclear power plant emergency shutdown system and a module scheduling control operations for a fuel power plant. In this paper, we describe the DESCARTES language and system as well as the results obtained and we comment our approach compared to traditional approaches in the field of automatic programming View full abstract»

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  • Towards a software engineering approach to Web site development

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 8 - 17
    Cited by:  Papers (8)
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    The World Wide Web (WWW) has become “the” global infrastructure for delivering information and services. The demands and expectations of information providers and consumers are pushing WWW technology towards higher-level quality of presentation, including active contents and improved usability of the hypermedia distributed infrastructure. This technological evolution, however, is not supported by adequate Web design methodologies. Web site development is usually carried out without following a well-defined process and lacks suitable tool support. In addition, Web technologies are quite powerful but rather low-level and their semantics is often left largely unspecified. As a consequence, understanding the conceptual structure of a complex Web site and managing its evolution are complex and difficult tasks. The approach we advocate here is based on sound software engineering principles. The Web site development process goes through requirements analysis, design, and implementation in a high-level language. We define an object-oriented modeling framework, called WOOM, which provides constructs and abstractions for a high-level implementation of a Web site. An important feature of WOOM is that it clearly separates the data that are presented through the site from the context in which the user accesses such data. This feature not only enhances separation of concerns in the design stage, but also favors its subsequent evolution. The paper provides a view of the approach and of its current prototype implementation View full abstract»

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  • On the consequences of acting in the presence of inconsistency

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 156 - 158
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    Managing inconsistency in specifications covers a range of activities from consistency checking and inconsistency analysis to inconsistency handling through action. We argue that inconsistency analysis is insufficient to determine the choice of actions to take in the presence of inconsistency. Rather, we propose that some form of `hypothetical reasoning' is needed in order to determine the consequences of different actions and thereby facilitate the decision making process. We suggest some logic based techniques and associated heuristics for analysing the consequences of acting in the presence of inconsistency View full abstract»

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  • Feature engineering [software development]

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 162 - 164
    Cited by:  Papers (4)
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    The notion of feature is widely used to denote the functional structure and visible properties of a software system. More specifically, features are meant to represent a user centric organization of a software system's functionality. Yet, other than during requirements analysis, features are seldom treated explicitly by most existing tools and methods. The paper argues that a feature orientation can provide benefits to software developers throughout the software life cycle. We envisage specific applications of the notion of feature that provide a powerful and unifying structure for software life cycle artifacts and activities. We discuss the problems and issues to be addressed, a brief summary of our current research work, and suggestions and directions for future research in a new area we call “feature engineering” View full abstract»

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  • The safety requirements engineering dilemma

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 147 - 149
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    A key idea followed in the software and system safety community is that an identified hazard is best dealt with by changing the requirements of the system so that the hazard does not even occur. This modus operandi creates a serious dilemma. The hazard identification, that is needed in order to know what hazards to avoid, is best done after the code has been written, because only then are the potential effects of any particular stimulus, event, etc. deducible. However, if the response to the identified hazard is to change the requirements, then this requirements change will happen only after the code is written. Such changes are both expensive and dangerous. So, a means to identify all hazards at requirements analysis time is needed View full abstract»

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  • Performance evaluation of a software architecture: a case study

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 116 - 125
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
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    In this paper we investigate on the performance of a Teleservices and Remote Medical Care System (TRMCS). We use a method which automatically derives a performance evaluation model, based on a Queueing Network Model, from a Software Architecture specification formally described in CHAM (CHemical Abstract Machine). The goal of this analysis is to provide a set of measures to analyse the system performance. From these measures we can derive guidelines for the development process in order to maintain a given performance View full abstract»

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  • Incremental software development method based on abstract interpretation

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 126 - 134
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    Stepwise Refinement is a well-known effective method for developing a large and complex software product. In traditional methods, a program is refined with respect to its function and the method is only applied in its design phase. In consequence, data defined at each step is too abstract to allow its execution and it is hard to find design errors by executing design artifacts. In this paper, we propose a method: Incremental Software development method based on Data Reification (ISDR), in which a program is refined from its data reification point of view and can be executed using Abstract Interpretation. One of the advantages of ISDR is that we can interpret intermediate programs, which are not finished completely, so that errors can be detected at an earlier stage of software development than in traditional methods View full abstract»

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  • Safety through security

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 18 - 24
    Cited by:  Papers (6)
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    This paper illustrates that the concept of noninterference, used in theories of security, may also be used to reason about safety. It presents a technique for modelling safety properties in terms of communicating processes, and develops a practical theory of system protection from failures. A simple example is presented to illustrate the application of this technique to different classes of safety property View full abstract»

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  • Reconciling system requirements and runtime behavior

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 50 - 59
    Cited by:  Papers (40)  |  Patents (1)
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    This paper considers the problem of system deviations from requirements specifications. Such deviations may arise from lack of anticipation of possible behaviors of environment agents at specification time, or from evoking conditions in this environment. We discuss an architecture and a development process for monitoring system requirements at runtime to reconcile the requirements and the system's behavior. This process is deployed on three scenarios of requirements-execution reconciliation for the Meeting Scheduler system. The work builds on our previous work on goal-driven requirements engineering and on runtime requirements monitoring View full abstract»

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  • From early to late formal requirements: a process-control case study

    Publication Year: 1998 , Page(s): 34 - 42
    Cited by:  Papers (5)
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    In this paper we consider three distinct and connected modelling activities at the Requirements Engineering (RE) level. Within the context of reactive systems, we suggest how these three activities can be supported by the use of appropriate formal languages, namely Kaos, AlbertII and Timed Automata. The i* framework is used for linking the various formal models and for providing a “high level” model in terms of which organizational issues are captured. A small process control example is used to illustrate the proposed approach View full abstract»

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