Consistency and Composition of Process Specifications

Steen, Maarten W.A. (1998) Consistency and Composition of Process Specifications. Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) thesis, University of Kent at Canterbury. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Abstract

Formal methods for the specification and development of distributed systems have traditionally supported a top-down, linear development process. However, there is a growing awareness in the (distributed) software engineering community that, in addition to a `vertical' structuring into design phases and steps, the specification and development of complex systems should also be structured `horizontally' according to, so called, viewpoints. Such multi-viewpoint development methods raise two important new issues though, viz. consistency and composition of viewpoint specifications. The aim of this thesis is to provide formal techniques to support multi-viewpoint specification and development. In particular, it deals with process algebraic techniques for viewpoint specification, consistency checking and viewpoint composition. An important issue is the formal definition of consistency, in particular when different viewpoints are expressed using different specification techniques -- a situation that is referred to as unbalanced (as opposed to balanced) consistency. To this end, a mathematical framework for formal, viewpoint oriented system development is elaborated by abstracting from specific viewpoint models and specific formal techniques. A number of existing process algebraic specification techniques based on, so called, implementation relations, are investigated on their suitability for viewpoint specification. The thesis contains a comprehensive study of all possible binary consistency relations between specifications in these techniques, resulting in a spectrum of consistency relations. It also provides techniques for composition in these specification techniques. In addition, a new mixed term specification technique is developed that combines the expressiveness of modal logics with the structuring capabilities of process calculi. Consistency and composition turn out to have precisely the desired properties, which makes it an ideal formalism for partial process specification. Moreover, because of its expressiveness, it can serve as a pivotal formalism for unbalanced consistency checking.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.))
Uncontrolled keywords: partial specification, consistency, composition, process calculi, labelled transition systems, viewpoints, open distributed processing
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science) > QA 76 Software, computer programming,
Divisions: Faculties > Science Technology and Medical Studies > School of Computing > Theoretical Computing Group
Depositing User: Mark Wheadon
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2009 17:37
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2009 17:37
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/21655 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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