Formalism and Informalism in Architectural Style: A Case Study

Robert Allen

Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Architectures for Software Systens, April 1995.

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Increasingly, developers look to software architecture to help them control the complexity of their systems. When developing a particular system, designers tend not to explore all possible alternatives for its architecture. Instead, they use specific patterns and idioms that are effective for the domain in which they are working. We term such a collection of patterns and idioms an architectural style.

Unfortunately, with few exceptions current exploitation of architectural style is informal and ad hoc. In this paper we consider an alternative to the ad hoc description of architectural styles, a formal description based on the inherent structure of software architectures. We explore this solution by describing Justo and Cunha's message passing style in Wright, an architecture description language based on CSP.

Software architecture, architecture specification, architectural style, case studies

For further information, please visit the home pages of the ABLE research project and Carnegie Mellon University's Composable Systems Group.

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