This paper presents the experience the authors gained in applying formal methods - mainly MSC and SDL - when specifying a reactive system. The experience not onlydeals with the descriptions of the system, but also with the methodology used to develop the descriptions.
A large set of criteria to evaluate formal methods for reactive systems is presented. To make this set more comprehensible, it is structured according to a Concept-Model of formal methods. It is made clear that it is necessary to make the catalogue more specific before applying it. Some of the steps needed to do so are explained. As an example the catalogue is applied within the context of the application domain building automation systems to three different formal methods: SDL, statecharts, and a temporallogic.
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.
For transferring existing knowledge into new projects, reuse has become an important factor in today's software industry. However, to set reuse into practice, reusable artifacts have to be stored somewhere, and must be offered to (re-)users on demand. For this purpose, advanced reuse repository systems like, for instance, instantiations of the Experience Base concept, are quite frequently used. Many people, from different projects, have to access such a repository at various phases of software development processes to retrieve or store reusable data. In order to fulfill the given tasks, each of these user has specific needs. Taking this into account, a reuse repository has to offer tailored user interfaces and functions for different user groups. Furthermore, since the contents of such a repository usually represent the state of the art of an organization's (core) competencies, not everyone should be allowed to freely access each and every repository entry. This isespecially true for persons that are not part of the organization. This report discusses role concepts that can be applied to reuse repository systems to overcome some of the stated access problems. Commonly used roles for software development and reuse repository management are listed. Based on these roles, a basic set of roles, as implemented in the SFB 501 Experience Base, is introduced.
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.
A combination of a state-based formalism and a temporal logic is proposed to get an expressive language for various descriptions of reactive systems. Thereby it is possible to use a model as well as a property oriented specification style in one description. The descriptions considered here are those of the environment, the specification, and the design of a reactive system. It is possible to express e.g. the requirements of a reactive system by states and transitions between them together with further temporal formulas restricting the behaviors of the statecharts. It is shown, how this combined formalism can be used: The specification of a small example is given and a designed controller is proven correct with respect to this specification. The combination of the langugages is based on giving a temporal semantics of a state-based formalism (statecharts) using a temporal logic (TLA).
Representations of activities dealing with the development or maintenance of software are called software process models. Process models allow for communication, reasoning, guidance, improvement, and automation. Two approaches for building, instantiating, and managing processes, namely CoMo-Kit and MVP-E, are combined to build a more powerful one. CoMo-Kit is based on AI/KE technology; it was developed for supporting complex design processes and is not specialized to software development processes. MVP-E is a process-sensitive software engineering environment for modeling and analyzing software development processes, and guides software developers. Additionally, it provides services to establish and run measurement programmes in software organizations. Because both approaches were developed completely independently major integration efforts are to be made to combine their both advantages. This paper concentrates on the resulting language concepts and their operationalization necessary for building automated process support.
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.