Infoscience

Thesis

Modelling Architecture Styles

Software systems tend to increase over time in size and complexity. Their development usually spans a long period of time and often results in systems that are hard to understand, debug and maintain. Architectures are common means for organising coordination between components in order to build complex systems and make them manageable. They allow thinking on a higher plane and avoiding low-level mistakes. Grouping architectures that share common characteristics into architecture styles assists component re-use and thus, the cost-effective development of systems. Additionally, architecture styles provide means for ensuring correctness-by-construction by enforcing global properties. The main goal of this thesis is to propose and study formalisms for modelling architectures and architecture styles. For the specification of architectures, we study interaction logics, which are Boolean algebras on a set of component actions. We study a modelling methodology based on first-order interaction logic for writing architecture constraints. To validate the applicability of the approach, we developed the JavaBIP framework that integrates architectures into mainstream software development. JavaBIP receives as input architecture specifications, which it then uses to coordinate software components without requiring access to their source code. JavaBIP implements the principles of the BIP component framework. For the specification of architecture styles, we propose configuration logics, which are powerset extensions of interaction logic. Propositional configuration logic formulas are generated from formulas of interaction logic by using the operators union, intersection and complementation, as well as a coalescing operator. We provide a complete axiomatisation of the propositional configuration logic and a decision procedure for checking that an architecture satisfies given logical specifications. To allow genericity of specifications, we study higher-order extensions of the propositional configuration logic. We provide several examples illustrating the application of configuration logics to the characterisation of architecture styles. For the specification of architecture styles, we also propose architecture diagrams, which is a graphical language rooted in rigorous semantics. We provide methods to assist software developers to specify consistent architecture diagrams, generate the conforming architectures of a style and check whether an architecture model meets given style requirements. We present a full encoding of architecture diagrams into configuration logics. Finally, we report on applications of architecture diagrams to modelling architecture styles identified in realistic case studies of on-board satellite software.

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