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Are we there yet? Analyzing architecture description languages for formal analysis, usability, and realizability

Ozkaya, M. & Kloukinas, C. (2013). Are we there yet? Analyzing architecture description languages for formal analysis, usability, and realizability. Paper presented at the 39th Euromicro Conference Series on Software Engineering and Advanced Applications, SEAA 2013, 4th - 6th September 2013, Santander, Spain.


Research on Software Architectures has been active since the early nineties, leading to a number of different architecture description languages (ADL). Given their importance in facilitating the communication of crucial system properties to different stakeholders and their analysis early on in the development of a system this is understandable. After all these years one would have hoped that we could point to a handful of ADLs as the clear winners as the languages of choice of practitioners for specifying software system architectures. However it seems that ADLs have still not entered the mainstream. We believe this is so because practitioners find the current offering either too difficult to use or not supporting automated analysis commensurate to the level of effort they require for specifying a system, especially so for complex systems.

In this paper we present a comparative analysis of a number of ADLs, both of first generation and more recent ones, against a small set of language properties that we believe are crucial for an ADL that would be easy for practitioners to adopt in their design and development practices. These properties are: formal semantics, usability, and realizability.

Publication Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: DOI:10.1109/SEAA.2013.34
Publisher Keywords: Architecture description language, comparison, formal semantics, usability, realizability
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Computer Science
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