Structural Views for Component and Connector Models

S. Maoz, J.O. Ringert, and B. Rumpe

Component and connector views

We present component and connector (C&C) views, which specify structural properties of component and connector models in an expressive and intuitive way. C&C views provide means to abstract away direct hierarchy, direct connectivity, port names and types, and thus can crosscut the traditional boundaries of the implementation-oriented hierarchical decomposition of systems and sub-systems, and reflect the partial knowledge available to different stakeholders involved in a system's design.

C&C views resources

Verification

We address the verification of a C&C model against a C&C view and present efficient (polynomial) algorithms to decide satisfaction. A unique feature of our work, not present in existing approaches to checking structural properties of C&C models, is the generation of witnesses for satisfaction/non-satisfaction and of short natural-language texts, which serve to explain and formally justify the verification results and point the engineer to its causes.
A prototype tool and an evaluation over four example systems with multiple views, performance and scalability experiments, as well as a user study of the usefulness of the witnesses for engineers, demonstrate the contribution of our work to the state-of-the-art in component and connector modeling and analysis.

Publications

S. Maoz, J. O. Ringert, B. Rumpe: Verifying Component and Connector Models against Crosscutting Structural Views. To appear at ICSE'14

Supporting materials for verification

Synthesis

As one application for C&C views we investigate the synthesis problem: given a C&C views specification, consisting of mandatory, alternative, and negative views, construct a concrete satisfying C&C model, if one exists. We show that the problem is NP-hard and solve it, in a bounded scope, using a reduction to SAT, via Alloy. We further extend the basic problem with support for library components, specification patterns, and architectural styles. The result of synthesis can be used for further exploration, simulation, and refinement of the C&C model or, as the complete, final model itself, for direct code generation.
A prototype tool and an evaluation over three case studies show promising results and suggest interesting future research directions towards a comprehensive design environment for architecture synthesis.

Publications

S. Maoz, J. O. Ringert, B. Rumpe: Synthesis of Component and Connector Models from Crosscutting Structural Views. Joint Meeting of the European Software Engineering Conference and the ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (ESEC/FSE'13), Eds.: B. Meyer, L. Baresi, M. Mezini, pages 444-454, ACM New York, 2013.

Supporting materials for synthesis