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Style-Based Refinement for Software Architecture

David Garlan.

In Joint Proceedings of the Second International Software Architecture Workshop (ISAW2) and the International Workshop on Multiple Perspectives in Software Development (Viewpoints '96), ACM Press, San Francisco, CA, October 1996.

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A question that frequently arises for architectural design is 'When can I implement a design in style S1 using a design in style S2?' In this paper I propose a technique for structuring a solution to this kind of problem using the idea of substyles. This technique leads to a two-step process in which first, useful subsets of a family of architectures are identified, and second, refinement rules specific to these subsets are established. I will argue that this technique, in combination with an unconventional interpretation of refinement, clarifies how engineers actually carry out architectural refinement and provides a formal framework for establishing the correctness of those methods.
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