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Software, IET

Issue 3 • Date June 2008

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Displaying Results 1 - 8 of 8
  • Editorial - Software language engineering

    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 161 - 164
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (131 KB)  

    Software languages play an important role in software development. Software languages are the artificial languages that are used to describe software systems at various abstraction levels. They are applied to describe requirements and designs for software, definitions of software architectures, and implementations of software systems. A huge variety of different technological spaces exist to describe languages: programming languages, software modeling languages, data modeling languages, domain-specific languages, ontology language, and others. View full abstract»

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  • Extending grammars and metamodels for reuse: the Reuseware approach

    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 165 - 184
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (960 KB)  

    The trend towards domain-specific languages leads to an ever-growing plethora of highly specialised languages. Developers of such languages focus on their specific domains rather than on the technical challenges of language design. The generic features of languages are rarely included in special-purpose languages. One very important feature is the ability to formulate partial programs in separate encapsulated entities, which can be composed into complete programs in a well-defined manner. A language-independent approach is presented that adds useful constructs for defining components. The authors discuss the underlying concepts and describe a composition environment and tool supporting these ideas-the reuseware composition framework. To evaluate this approach, the authors enrich the (Semantic) Web query language Xcerpt with an additional useful reuse concept - modules. View full abstract»

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  • Ontological approach for the semantic recovery of traceability links between software artefacts

    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 185 - 203
    Cited by:  Papers (6)
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (627 KB)  

    Traceability links provide support for software engineers in understanding relations and dependencies among software artefacts created during the software development process. The authors focus on re-establishing traceability links between existing source code and documentation to support software maintenance. They present a novel approach that addresses this issue by creating formal ontological representations for both documentation and source code artefacts. Their approach recovers traceability links at the semantic level, utilising structural and semantic information found in various software artefacts. These linked ontologies are supported by ontology reasoners to allow the inference of implicit relations among these software artefacts. View full abstract»

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  • Formalising model transformation rules for UML/MOF 2

    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 204 - 222
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (410 KB)  

    Model-driven software development, today's state-of-the-art approach to the design of software, can be applied in various domains and thus demands a variety of domain-specific modelling languages. The specification of a domain-specific modelling language's syntax and semantics can in turn be specified based on models, which represent the approach of metamodelling as a special form of language engineering. The latest version of the unified modelling language 2 (UML 2) and its subset the meta object facility 2 (MOF 2) provide sufficient support for metamodelling, a modelling language's abstract syntax. Furthermore, based on the description of the abstract syntax, a language's static semantics can simply be specified by the object constraint language (OCL) as UML/MOF's natural constraint language, whereas the description of an MOF compliant language's dynamic semantics is still not covered. The authors try to close this gap by integrating MOF/OCL with graph transformations for the specification of dynamic aspects of modelling languages and tools. The formalisation of such an integration is non-trivial because of the fact that UML/MOF 2 offer a rather unusual and sophisticated association concept (graph model). Although there are many approaches, which formalise graph transformations in general and first approaches that offer a precise specification of the semantics of the association concepts of UML/MOF 2, there is still a lack in bringing both together. Here, the authors close this gap by formalising graph transformations that work on a UML/MOF 2 compatible graph model. View full abstract»

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  • Learning context-free grammar rules from a set of program

    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 223 - 240
    Cited by:  Papers (3)  |  Patents (2)
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (464 KB)  

    The grammar of a programming language is important because it is used in developing program analysis and modification tools. Sometimes programs are written in dialects-minor variations of standard languages. Normally, grammars of standard languages are available but grammars of dialects may not be available. A technique for reverse engineering context-free grammar rules is presented. The proposed technique infers rules from a given set of programs and an approximate grammar is generated using an iterative approach with backtracking. The correctness of the approach, is explained and a set of optimisations proposed to make the approach more efficient. The approach and the optimisations are experimentally verified on a set of programming languages. View full abstract»

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  • Aspect-oriented prolog in a language processing context

    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 241 - 259
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (378 KB)  

    Language processors can be derived from logic grammars. That several concerns in the processor such as parsing, several kinds of analysis or transformations, can be specified as aspects of the logic grammar is demonstred. For that purpose, the authors bring the concepts of aspect-oriented programming to Prolog in a systematic way, based on established Prolog technology. The authors illustrate that typical Prolog programming techniques can be described as generic aspects and provided in a library to support reusable concerns. A domain-specific language (DSL) is developed to improve readability of aspect-oriented specifications. View full abstract»

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  • Integration of safety analysis in model-driven software development

    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 260 - 280
    Cited by:  Papers (8)
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1666 KB)  

    Safety critical software requires integrating verification techniques in software development methods. Software architectures must guarantee that developed systems will meet safety requirements and safety analyses are frequently used in the assessment. Safety engineers and software architects must reach a common understanding on an optimal architecture from both perspectives. Currently both groups of engineers apply different modelling techniques and languages: safety analysis models and software modelling languages. The solutions proposed seek to integrate both domains coupling the languages of each domain. It constitutes a sound example of the use of language engineering to improve efficiency in a software-related domain. A model-driven development approach and the use of a platform-independent language are used to bridge the gap between safety analyses (failure mode effects and criticality analysis and fault tree analysis) and software development languages (e.g. unified modelling language). Language abstract syntaxes (metamodels), profiles, language mappings (model transformations) and language refinements, support the direct application of safety analysis to software architectures for the verification of safety requirements. Model consistency and the possibility of automation are found among the benefits. View full abstract»

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  • Evaluating formal properties of feature diagram languages

    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 281 - 302
    Cited by:  Papers (6)
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1003 KB)  

    Feature diagrams (FDs) are a family of popular modelling languages, mainly used for managing variability in software product lines. FDs were first introduced by Kang et al. as part of the feature-oriented domain analysis (FODA) method back in 1990. Since then, various extensions of FODA FDs were devised to compensate for purported ambiguity and lack of precision and expressiveness. Recently, the authors surveyed these notations and provided them with a generic formal syntax and semantics, called free feature diagrams (FFDs). The authors also started investigating the comparative semantics of FFD with respect to other recent formalisations of FD languages. Those results were targeted at improving the quality of FD languages and making the comparison between them more objective. The previous results are recalled in a self-contained, better illustrated and better motivated fashion. Most importantly, a general method is presented for comparative semantics of FDs grounded in Harel and Rumpe's guidelines for defining formal visual languages and in Krogstie et al.'s semiotic quality framework. This method being actually applicable to other visual languages, FDs are also used as a language (re)engineering exemplar throughout the paper. View full abstract»

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