A new approach for modelling time that does not rely on the concept of a clock is proposed. In order to establish a notion of time, system behaviour is represented as a joint progression of multiple threads of control, which satisfies a certain set of axioms. We show that the clock-independent time model is related to the well-known concept of a global clock and argue that both approaches establish the same notion of time.
A tailored real time temporal logic for specifying requirements of building automation systems is introduced and analyzed. The logic features several new real time operators, which are chosen with regard to the application area. The new operators improve the conciseness and readability of requirements as compared to a general-purpose real time temporal logic. In addition, some of the operators also enhance the expressiveness of the logic. A number of properties of the new operators are presented and proven.
A generic approach to the formal specification of system requirements is presented. It is based on a pool of requirement patterns, which are related to design patterns well-known in object-oriented software development. The application of such patterns enhances the reusability and genericity as well as the intelligibility of the formal requirement specification. The approach is instantiated by a tailored real-time temporal logic and by selecting building automation systems as application domain. With respect to this domain, the pattern discovery and reuse tasks are explained and illustrated, and a set of typical requirement patterns is presented. Finally, the results of a case study where the approach has been applied are summarized.
The notion of formal description techniques for timed systems (T-FDTs) has been introduced in [EDK98a] to provide a unifying framework for description techniques that are formal and that allow to describe the ongoing behavior of systems. In this paper we show that three well known temporal logics, MTL, MTL-R , and CTL*, can be embedded in this framework. Moreover, we provide evidence that a large number of dioeerent kinds of temporal logics can be considered as T-FDTs.
Using an experience factory is one possible concept for supporting and improving reuse in software development. (i.e., reuse of products, processes, quality models, ...). In the context of the Sonderforschungsbereich 501: "Development of Large Systems with Generic methods" (SFB501), the Software Engineering Laboratory (SE Lab) runs such an experience factory as part of the infrastructure services it offers. The SE Lab also provides several tools to support the planning, developing, measuring, and analyzing activities of software development processes. Among these tools, the SE Lab runs and maintains an experience base, the SFB-EB. When an experience factory is utilized, support for experience base maintenance is an important issue. Furthermore, it might be interesting to evaluate experience base usage with regard to the number of accesses to certain experience elements stored in the database. The same holds for the usage of the tools provided by the SE LAB. This report presents a set of supporting tools that were designed to aid in these tasks. These supporting tools check the experience base's consistency and gather information on the usage of SFB-EB and the tools installed in the SE Lab. The results are processed periodically and displayed as HTML result reports (consistency checking) or bar charts (usage profiles).
A non-trivial real-time requirement obeying a pattern that can be foundin various instantiations in the application domain building automation, and which is therefore called generic, is investigated in detail. Starting point is a description of a real-time problem in natural language augmented by a diagram, in a style often found in requirements documents. Step by step, this description is made more precise and finally transformed into a surprisingly concise formal specification, written in real-time temporal logic with customized operators. Wereason why this formal specification precisely captures the original description- as far as this is feasible due to the lack of precision of natural language.
The purpose of this expose is to explain the generic design of a customized communication subsystem. The expose addresses both functional and non-functional aspects. Starting point is a real-time requirement from the application area building automation. We show how this application requirement and some background information about the application area lead to a system architecture, a communication service, a protocol architecture and to the selection, adaptation, and composition of protocol functionalities. The reader will probably be surprised how much effort is necessary in order to implement the innocuous, innocent, inconspicuous looking application requirement. Formal description techniques (FDTs) will be used in all design phases.
Today's communication systems are typically structured into several layers, where each layer realizes a fixed set of protocol functionalities. These functionalities have been carefully chosen such that a wide range of applications can be supported and protocols work in a general environment of networks. However, due to evolving network technologies as well as increased and varying demands of modern applications general-purpose protocol stacks are not always adequate. To improve this situation new flexible communication architectures have been developed which enable the configuration of customized communication subsystems by composing a proper set of reusable building blocks. In particular, several approaches to automatic configuration of communication subsystems have been reported in the literature. This report gives an overview of theses approaches (F-CCS, Da CaPo, x-Kernel, and ADAPTIVE) and, in particular, defines a framework, which identifies common architectural issues and configuration tasks.
Due to the large variety of modern applications and evolving network technologies, a small number of general-purpose protocol stacks will no longer be sufficient. Rather, customization of communication protocols will play a major role. In this paper, we present an approach that has the potential to substantially reduce the effort for designing customized protocols. Our approach is based on the concept of design patterns, which is well-established in object oriented software development. We specialize this concept to communication protocols, and - in addition - use formal description techniques (FDTs) to specify protocol design patterns as well as rules for their instantiation and composition. The FDTs of our choice are SDL-92 and MSCs, which offer suitable language support. We propose an SDL pattern description template and relate pattern-based configuring of communication protocols to existing SDL methodologies. Particular SDL patterns and the configuring of a customized resource reservation protocol are presented in detail.
Comprehensive reuse and systematic evolution of reuse artifacts as proposed by the Quality Improvement Paradigm (QIP) do not only require tool support for mere storage and retrieval. Rather, an integrated management of (potentially reusable) experience data as well as project-related data is needed. This paper presents an approach exploiting object-relational database technology to implement the QIP-driven reuse repository of the SFB 501. Requirements, concepts, and implementational aspects are discussed and illustrated through a running example, namely the reuse and continuous improvement of SDL patterns for developing distributed systems. Based on this discussion, we argue that object-relational database management systems (ORDBMS) are best suited to implement such a comprehensive reuse repository. It is demonstrated how this technology can be used to support all phases of a reuse process and the accompanying improvement cycle. Although the discussions of this paper are strongly related to the requirements of the SFB 501 experience base, the basic realization concepts, and, thereby, the applicability of ORDBMS, can easily be extended to similar applications, i. e., reuse repositories in general.