Using Style to Understand Descriptions of Software Architecture

Gregory Abowd, Robert Allen, and David Garlan

Proceedings of SIGSOFT '93: Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering, December, 1993.

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The software architecture of most systems is described informally and diagrammatically. In order for these descriptions to be meaningful at all, figures are understood by interpreting the boxes and lines in specific, conventionalized ways. The imprecision of these interpretations has a number of limitations. In this paper we consider these convetionalized 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 the proof that the notational constraints on a style are sufficient to guarantee the meanings of all described systems and provides a unified semantic base through which different stylistic interpretations can be compared.
Software Architecture, Architecture Style, Style Template, Semantic Interpretation

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