Formalizing Style to Understand Descriptions of Software Architecture

Authors: Gregory Abowd, Robert Allen, and David Garlan

CMU CS Technical Report, CMU-CS-95-111, January 1995.

BIBTEX Citation


The software architecture of most systems is usually described informally and diagrammatically by means of boxes and lines. In order for these descriptions to be meaningful, the diagrams are understood by interpreting the boxes and lines in specific, conventionalized ways. The informal, imprecise nature of these interpretations has a number of limitations. In this paper we consider these conventionalized interpretations as architectural styles and provide a formal framework for their uniform definition. In addition to providing a template for precisely defining new architectural styles, this framework allows for analysis within and between different architectural styles.
Keywords: software architecture, software design, architectural style, architectural description, architectural analysis, formal specification, the Z notation

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