Mathematical Foundations for Software Architecture

J. L. Fiadeiro, A. Lopes, M. Wermelinger.

April 1st afternoon (half day)

This tutorial presents mathematical techniques as a toolbox for software architects. More precisely, a categorical semantics that builds on Goguen's approach to General Systems Theory and other algebraic approaches to specification, concurrency, and parallel program design, is proposed for the formalisation of concepts related to the gross modularisation of complex systems like "interconnection" (in particular connectors in the style defined by Allen and Garlan), "configuration", "instantiation", and "composition". This semantics is, essentially, ADL-independent, setting up criteria against which formalisms can be evaluated according to the support that they provide for architectural design. In particular, it clarifies the role that the separation between computation and coordination plays in supporting architecture-driven approaches to software construction and evolution. It also leads to useful generalisations of the notion of connector, like higher-order connectors and the use of multiple formalisms in the definition of the glue and the roles, which allows connectors to be applied to programs or system components that can be implemented in different languages or correspond to "real-world" components.