Refinement methods for software architecture design using the software architecture model

Lian Mo, Florida International University


Modern software systems are often large and complicated. To better understand, develop, and manage large software systems, researchers have studied software architectures that provide the top level overall structural design of software systems for the last decade. One major research focus on software architectures is formal architecture description languages, but most existing research focuses primarily on the descriptive capability and puts less emphasis on software architecture design methods and formal analysis techniques, which are necessary to develop correct software architecture design. Refinement is a general approach of adding details to a software design. A formal refinement method can further ensure certain design properties. This dissertation proposes refinement methods, including a set of formal refinement patterns and complementary verification techniques, for software architecture design using Software Architecture Model (SAM), which was developed at Florida International University. First, a general guideline for software architecture design in SAM is proposed. Second, specification construction through property-preserving refinement patterns is discussed. The refinement patterns are categorized into connector refinement, component refinement and high-level Petri nets refinement. These three levels of refinement patterns are applicable to overall system interaction, architectural components, and underlying formal language, respectively. Third, verification after modeling as a complementary technique to specification refinement is discussed. Two formal verification tools, the Stanford Temporal Prover (STeP) and the Simple Promela Interpreter (SPIN), are adopted into SAM to develop the initial models. Fourth, formalization and refinement of security issues are studied. A method for security enforcement in SAM is proposed. The Role-Based Access Control model is formalized using predicate transition nets and Z notation. The patterns of enforcing access control and auditing are proposed. Finally, modeling and refining a life insurance system is used to demonstrate how to apply the refinement patterns for software architecture design using SAM and how to integrate the access control model. The results of this dissertation demonstrate that a refinement method is an effective way to develop a high assurance system. The method developed in this dissertation extends existing work on modeling software architectures using SAM and makes SAM a more usable and valuable formal tool for software architecture design.

Subject Area

Computer science

Recommended Citation

Mo, Lian, "Refinement methods for software architecture design using the software architecture model" (2005). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3169465.