Requirements engineering and design methods for distributed applications
Objectives of the proposed research (NSERC Discovery grant proposal by G.v. Bochmann, 2006)
Research activities are planned in the area of software technology related to formal requirement specifications with applications in the context of Web Services and adaptive applications. We also consider the paradigm of "publish-subscribe" which is used in the context of Web Services for finding suitable service providers. It raises the question of how to select a suitable service provider that provides a given service at the required level of quality and trustworthiness. The long-term objectives of the proposed research are the following:
- Improve the techniques for describing the dynamic behaviour of system components, especially at the requirements level, in order to facilitate building of complex distributed systems out of smaller components, where the components may be developed for a particular application, or re-used.
- Improve the methods and tools for building distributed applications that are able to select appropriate partner applications for providing required services, and to adapt to the constraints given by the execution environments of the different system components. In this context, non-functional properties like response time, reliability, security and costs should be considered, as well as user preferences and questions of trust.
The objectives of the proposed research in the shorter term can be formulated as follows:
- Developing methods and tools to derive distributed system designs from the requirement specification given in the form of Activity Diagrams or Use Case Maps, including the consideration of distributed transactions.
- Integrating the above design principles with the "publish-subscribe" paradigm in order to allow for adaptable applications taking various quality of service aspects (e.g. response time, reliability, multimedia quality, cost) and trust relationships into account.
- Improving the methods for automatic submodule construction and studying their application to component re-use in the context of evolving system requirements.
- Developing example applications.
Here is the full text of the technical proposal (access restricted to members of DSRG)