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Improving System Dependability by Enforcing Architectural Intent

Marwan Abi-Antoun, Jonathan Aldrich, David Garlan, Bradley Schmerl, Nagi Nahas and Tony Tseng.

In Proceedings of the 2005 Workshop on Architecting Dependable Systems (WADS 2005), St. Louis, MS, May 2005.

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Developing dependable software systems requires enforcing conformance between architecture and implementation during software development and evolution. We address this problem with a multi-pronged approach: (a) automated refinement of a component-and-connector (C&C) architectural view into an initial implementation, (b) enforcement of architectural structure at the programming language level, (c) automated abstraction of a C&C view from an implementation, and (d) semi-automated incremental synchronization between the architectural and the implementation C&C views. We use an Architecture Description Language (ADL), Acme, to describe the architecture, and ArchJava, an implementation language which embeds a C&C architecture specification within Java implementation code. Although both Acme and ArchJava specify C&C views, a number of structural differences may arise. Our approach can detect structural differences which correspond directly to implementation-level violations of the well thoughtout architectural intent. Furthermore, supplementing the C&C view extracted from the implementation with architectural types and styles can uncover additional violations.

Keywords: Acme, ArchJava, Software Architecture.  
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