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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In order to improve the quality of software systems and to set up a more effective process for their development, many attempts have been made in the field of software engineering. Reuse of existing knowledge is seen as a promising way to solve the outstanding problems in this field. In previous work we have integrated the design pattern concept with the formal design language SDL, resulting in a certain kind of pattern formalization. For the domain of communication systems we have also developed a pool of SDL patterns with an accompanying process model for pattern application. In this paper we present an extension that combines the SDL pattern approach with the experience base concept. This extension supports a systematic method for empirical evaluation and continuous improvement of the SDL pattern approach. Thereby the experience base serves as a repository necessary for effective reuse of the captured knowledge. A comprehensive usage scenario is described which shows the advantages of the combined approach. To demonstrate its feasibility, first results of a research case study are given.
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.
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 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.