CW 474

Nelis Boucké, Alessandro Garcia, and Tom Holvoet
Composing architectural crosscutting structures in xADL


Designing a software architecture is about defining and composing highlevel design structures. Whereas describing several structures is is fairly well supported, both non-aspect-oriented and aspect-oriented Architectural Description Languages (ADLs) fall short when it comes to documenting relations or compositions between architecturally-relevant crosscutting structures. This makes in turn separation of important concerns in the architecture hard, thereby increasing maintenance overhead and reducing reuse capabilities. This paper identifies and analyzes examples of crosscutting structures in an architecture for an industrial Automatic Guided Vehicle Transportation System (AGVTS). This analysis allowed us to determine and introduce an initial set of structural composition operators into xADL, namely substructure, mapping, and unification. The operators' feasibility have been assessed while refactoring the existing AGVTS architecture. Based on a real maintenance scenario, we also investigate to what extent these explicit compositions led (or not) to enhanced architectural changeability for evolving the distribution strategy.

report.pdf (393K) / mailto: N. Boucké